The Point God: Chris Paul Has Mastered the Crossover

  • Chris Paul spin move
    The spin move

    One of the first moves a basketball player is taught as a young kid is the spin move. CP3 certainly made his son proud for this play. He absolutely leaves his defender in the dust and gets an uncontested layup after pulling this nasty spin move. Just another move in the full CP3 arsenal.

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  • On a dime

    There is creating space between you and defender and then there is this. Chris Paul pulls back, stops on a dime, and sends Gordon Hayward flying, getting at least six feet of separation to easily finish the jumper at the top of the key. It is extremely difficult to guard a guy that can pull back as fast as Chris Paul does.

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  • The nutmeg

    My coach growing up always said the best part of the game wasn’t my skills, but rather my smarts on the court. He always told me I was the coach on the court. Not only is CP smart off the court, he is brilliant on the court. Chris Paul is one of the smartest players I have ever seen. In this play, he was smart enough to go through the defender’s leg, take a few dribbles, and then throw an easy past to his slashing teammates. And if you thought it was just a one-time thing, think again.

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  • Chris Paul ankle breaker
    Broken ankles

    If only social media was as prevalent as it is now, maybe TP would have thrown up a picture on Instagram of him being put on skates. As you know a guy by the name of Steph Curry put Paul on skates this year. At least he could joke and poke fun of himself on social media. This play is nasty, though. Throughout his career, Chris Paul has been crossing defenders up and absolutely embarrassing them, always proving his dominating dribbling skills.

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  • Chris Paul
    Hot sauce

    Probably my favorite play on the entire list because you don’t really see players go behind their back and through their legs at the same time. CP3 juked his defender to give himself a wide open fast-break layup. Here is one of the instances where he made the right play by being selfish and keeping the ball for himself.

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  • Chris Paul
    The dive

    I have now watched this play 10 times in a row and I think I am going to take a break from working just to watch this over and over. It honestly looks like Andre Miller is either diving into a swimming pool or doing a summersault in a gym. That is how bad CP3 fakes him out. You can say Andre Miller is old and cannot defend, but that is simply not as true as CP being an unbelievable ball-handler.

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  • Chris Paul crossover
    Don't even try

    You would think it would hard for a 6-footer to create his own shot in the NBA, but that just is never the case for Chris Paul. Even with a height disadvantage, which is usually the case, CP3 always has the upper hand in the matchup. When the Clippers run their dependable pick-n-roll and the big switches you already know CP3 is going to either blow by him or stop on a dime and pop.

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  • Chris Paul spin move
  • Chris Paul ankle breaker
  • Chris Paul
  • Chris Paul
  • Chris Paul crossover

Chris Paul averaged 16 points, 7.8 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in his rookie season. Those are ridiculous numbers for a fresh-out-of-school rook. Ever since being drafted fourth overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Paul has been in the argument for the best point guard in the league. It is certainly hard to argue otherwise. I could go on and list out his career accolades and awards, but I will let his highlights do the talking. The ONLY thing Chris Paul is missing from his resume is that coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. Unfortunately, that is how we tend to measure greatness, especially in professional basketball.

CP3 truly became a superstar in his third season, making the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. That year, he ended up averaging 21, 11, and nearly 3.0 steals a game. I could probably write an entire article on why Paul has been one of the best defenders in the league since he entered, but I will save that for another time. Let’s stay focused on his offensive ability. I remember watching CP3 at young age in awe, idolizing how well he got his teammates involved. He is probably one of the most unselfish players in the league. At times–Doc Rivers would probably agree–CP3 isn’t selfish enough. He has one of the prettiest shots and can out-dribble anyone in the league. (And his kicks are pretty dope, too.)

His Clippers came through with a Game 7 win in the series of the playoffs so far, beating the Spurs in the first round on a Paul banker in the closing seconds. There is a solid chance now that the Clips can makes it to the Finals and for CP3 and his legacy, there’s a lot on the line. Obviously, they need to get past the Warriors–most likely, if they beat Houston–who have the guy who won the MVP award over CP3. However, scroll through the article here and you’ll realize why CP3 is still the best point guard in the league, even as he turns the big 3-0 today.

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Follow Jason on Twitter at @imfitterthanyou

image via Victor Decolongon/Getty Images