NBA / Feb 24, 2010 / 5:04 pm

Is Chris Paul a product of the system?

Chris Paul (photo. Zach Wolfe)

First off, let me get this out of the way: Chris Paul is no worse than the 4th-best point guard in the NBA. On some days I’d take Deron Williams over him, some days Tony Parker, some days Chauncey Billups. Other days, I’d take CP over anybody.

BUT, in the name of playing Devil’s advocate, there’s a question that’s been building up that I’ve been kicking around the Dime office to no clear answer:

Is Chris Paul more of a “product of the system” than we previously thought?

When you pose an argument for CP as the world’s best PG, what’s your opening statement? Numbers. Paul is routinely leading the League in assists and steals, and before this most recent knee injury he was averaging 20.4 points, 11.2 dimes, 4.6 boards and 2.3 steals this season.

You use numbers because, at 24, Paul is young enough to not yet be criticized much for his postseason shortcomings (first-round exit in ’09, second-round in ’08). And just about everybody agrees that his supporting cast in New Orleans has gotten worse over the last couple of seasons, to the point where if the Hornets wound up in the 2010 Lottery with Paul playing all 82 games, he wouldn’t have been blamed. Plus, other than ball-handling, is there one single thing that CP does better than any other point guard in the League? Jason Kidd and Steve Nash are better pure passers. Monta Ellis and Tyreke Evans are better pure scorers. Chauncey and Russell Westbrook are better man-to-man defenders. Nash and Mike Bibby are better shooters. Paul is great because of the total package, because of intangibles like heart and competitiveness, and because you can’t argue against his numbers.

Or maybe you can. Because as CP has been sidelined this year, his replacement, rookie Darren Collison, has been putting up impressive numbers of his own: 18.1 points, 8.3 dimes, 4.0 boards and 1.5 steals in the 19 games he’s started. If Collison continues to do this for the rest of the season and CP doesn’t come back from knee surgery, Collison should be included in Rookie of the Year talk, as the Hornets (9th in the West) are still in contention for a playoff spot.

With every monster game Collison has — like last night when he dropped 22 points and 10 assists on the Cavs in a close loss — he threatens to makes it look like any good PG can register sick numbers in New Orleans. Ask those who support Deron in the “Who’s Better?” debate with CP: One reason CP has the statistical advantage over D-Will is because D-Will plays in a regimented system under Jerry Sloan, while Paul — previously under Byron Scott and now with interim N.O. coach Jeff Bower — is given complete autonomy like Nasty Nelson in Boomerang.

With that same freedom of expression, Collison has put up numbers equal to or better than Nash, Billups, Derrick Rose, Parker and Deron.

Now, there is one simple answer: That Collison is just better than people realized. Coming out of UCLA, the 21st pick in the ’09 Draft didn’t have much hype coming into the League despite multiple Final Four appearances. He was the 10th point guard selected in a PG-heavy class, and as a four-year college player, he had the label stuck on him that he didn’t have as much potential or was maybe less-talented than one-and-dones like Tyreke or Jrue Holiday, or Euroleague imports Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings. In fact, the reason Holiday didn’t play the point at UCLA was because Collison never let him have the spot — and yet Holiday was drafted four spots ahead of Collison (as well as accomplished four-year senior PG’s Ty Lawson and Eric Maynor).

This would reveal more of a flaw in the NBA Draft philosophy than a loophole in New Orleans that allows any ol’ point guard to look like an All-Star. And honestly, that’s what I would argue on behalf of Collison and in defense of Paul. Collison flew under the hype radar and was simply a draft steal for the Hornets. Rather than a system that creates statistically productive PG’s, the Hornets just happen to have two very good PG’s.

But it does make you wonder, even if just a little, about that system. Remember how for a while every Denver Broncos running back was cranking out 1,000-yard seasons? Or how any Texas Tech quarterback will throw for 4,000-5,000 yards per year? Or how in basketball, anybody who currently plays for the Warriors or Suns is accused of having “inflated” numbers thanks to the run-and-gun system? Those players have had an asterisk put next to their achievements. Should CP have one? How many PG’s do you think would be able to drop 20-10-2 numbers playing in New Orleans with no restrictions?

Again, I’m not saying Chris Paul isn’t an elite talent in this League and one of the best at his position. I think this is more of a result of Collison exceeding expectations. But I wanted to at least put the question out there.

In your opinion, does the success of Paul’s less-talented, smaller, rookie understudy take a little of the sparkle off CP’s stats?

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  • KnicksFan

    ya buggin my friend

  • KenAdams

    Yes…. That is all I have to say!

  • http://dime eyes

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. I think it has a lot to do with Chris tutelage. If you look closely Chris is the asst coach. When you a player can make someone into an All Star. Nothing has to be said. Don’t throw Tony Paker into this conversation. Billups I’ll give you. Deron or Steve and that’s it. Chris Paul is like a lil man Jason Kidd with a slight edge. He has a street game with a political splash. It’s crazy. Give him the Hawks & I’m telling you the N.B.A. & fans would lose their mind. He’d get that Knicks squad into the Playoffs. Boston would win a chip again injured and all. The Spurs would be better NOW. The Grizzlies & Thunder would be legitimate threats in the playoffs.

    AB..Seriously. Do you know what CP would do to Collison. The student has a ways to go. 10ast 6TO’s. Let’s take it easy with the trade talk & starting stuff. SHORT TERM MEMORY IS THE COUSIN OF HATE.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I didn’t know New Orleans had a system.

  • nola

    first: i do have some understanding of where you’re coming from.

    however…

    with cp3 down, everyone’s numbers has fallen except for collison and marcus thornton. the hornets have moved into a youth movement because of this.

    remember how we always said dwest was good because of cp3? has he been good? and on the games where he’s been decent, was it because of dc? nope… dc has not made any players better. the only player who has gotten better is marcus thornton and he is good BECAUSE of himself, not because of dc.

    also if cp3 was playing last night, the hornets would nto have won the game. from all the times i’ve watched nola games, when a player other than cp3 scores 30+, nola wins games.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I see where you going AB but I think CP3 is legit regardless of where he would be. Now granted I think the green light is most def. a helper with him and Collison in terms of numbers.

    Still I don’t think you can put Collison anywhere and get those same results.

    Now D.Will I think would have even greater numbers than CP and Collison if he had that Greeny Green vs. that yellow light he runs with.

    I don’t think you can attribute the system, as a player the boy is legit. Collison on the other hand should be thankful for the system.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    On a serious note, I would say Darren Collinson is the player who is the “prodcut of the system”. He is merely a good player with a high basketball IQ who was thrust into a starting role on a team without an identity. He has the ball in his hands more than anybody on the team, If he isn’t shooting the ball himself he’s usually the one passing it to a shooter thus racking up the assists.

    I think Marcus Thornton has a similar function on the Hornets. Yes he plays with energy just like Collison but he too shoots a ton of shots especially 3’s.

    These two have become the go to guys for New Orleans. Even if the Hornets finish the season around .500 they are still a very bad team and in the NBA it’s easy to be a high scorer on a very bad team.

  • Mark

    lol @ Spliff. NOLA is my team, and I’m still not sure the direction they’re taking the team. I think we’re going to have actual designated units (CP with low possession half court offense and Collison with open court), but at least it’s a direction, unlike Byron Scott.

  • two times

    anybody remember CP getting served last year in the playoffs?

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    If Jason Kidd is a better pure passer, how come he averages like 6 APG? Please.

    You are overlooking one super important fact– the pace the Hornets play under Collison is SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the pace they play under CP. Over the past few seasons, the Hornets were one of the slowest paced teams in the league. (Like 27th-28th in the NBA slow. Right now their pace puts them 17th out of 30. BIG difference.) That makes Paul’s numbers a lot more impressive than almost all of the other guys you mentioned.

    And then you get into the other questions that come up. If his supporting cast is so crappy, how’s he get so many assists? How many would he get if he was Rajon Rondo if he can already average 12 per game with these guys? If his size is an issue, how come he outrebounds Deron Williams, whose fans say he’s better than CP because of size?

    You also didn’t look at turnovers, or assist to turnover ratio. Please do, and you’ll see the difference between Collison and Paul. I’ll do it for you. Chris Paul leads the league with an asst to turnover ratio of 4.42. Collison’s is 1.94. League average for point guards is 2.42. What this says is Chris Paul takes care of the ball ridiculously well for a guy who controls it as much as he does.

    But people who are into stats can, I’m sure, do way better than me at this. I watch every Hornets game. It’s not their system. Or well, it sort of is, if you mean that New Orleans gets out and runs a lot more this year without Byron Scott, especially with Paul out. But the problem is, the fact that Collison runs and the Hornets with Paul usually play more in a half court set actually only proves more how great Paul is. CAN he run? Sure he can. He’s put up 20+ assists against the Suns and Warriors in that style of game.

    I am not a stat person though. That’s just off the top of my head having watched a LOT of both players this year.

  • Mike Honcho

    I honestly think CP3 is a product of the system and a bit overrated. If DC were not as good or as smart as Paul, he wouldn’t be putting up similar numbers.

    Agreed, Paul made D West and Chandler, but Darren is now making Thorton and I’ve even seen some Pejasaurouses on the court!

    You can’t really compare the two as rookies, since Darren hasn’t started a whole season, but with the play time he’s been given, he’s been pretty impressive.

    The only other system we can compare CP3 with is playing on the Olympic team, where he was good, but wasn’t a standout. I’d like to see him play in a Sloan-type system to see if he can produce the same numbers

  • Si-meon

    WTH are you smoking? Is Dime running out of things to write??

    What system is there?? The man has no supporting cast and HE is the one who makes his team look good, not the other way around.

    Just because Collison is getting numbers doesn’t mean CP3 is a product of the system.

    Collison has only played full-time for a little over a month, CP3 has been playing all star ball for years.

    Come on now…

  • Mike Honcho

    @ ticktock….Paul’s turnovers have fluctuated each season, with last season being his worst

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    Darren Collison in no way, shape, or form has made Thornton. Thornton is a pure scorer who has the ability to create his own shot from pretty much anywhere on the floor. He’s put up basically the same numbers per minute with CP in the backcourt beside him as with Collison.

    Sorry, had to address that. Thornton has been a huge joy for me to watch this year, and anyone who does watch him knows what I’m talking about. In the 2nd quarter last night, he actually was playing as Collison’s backup, since the Hornets don’t have a backup PG, when he started going off on that 23 point qtr. Collison wasn’t even on the floor.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    @ Mike Honcho

    Absolutely, completely, factually false. Dude. Please look things up before you comment.

    2007 – 2.5 TO
    2008 – 2.5 TO
    2009 – 3.0 TO
    2010 – 2.5 TO

    In 2009 his A/T ratio was second among point guards, 0.07 behind Jason Kidd’s.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    P.S. My numbers are from Hoopsdata.com.

  • K

    We all know the kid is nice but if he’s your primary scorer then you really can’t expect to do much in the league.

  • lsuhornet17

    What you’ve just wrote is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @ticktock6 — Good points, but a couple things I have to bring up:

    1. Assists don’t always judge someone’s abilities as a pure passer. And Jason Kidd is averaging 9.2 apg this year anyway. I don’t know where you got 6 from.

    2. I’m thinking the best way to quantify faster/slower pace is field-goal attempts per game. Post All-Star break — which granted is only a handful of games but is all Collison — the Hornets are 12th in the NBA with 83.8 FGA per game. The Raptors are 27th with 78 FGA per game. That’s only five shots a night. And the Raptors are scoring more with those fewer attempts, 105 points a night vs. 98 for the Hornets. Just saying, I don’t think you can completely chalk up Collison’s numbers to pace.

  • common sense

    man cp3 best pg ive seen in the league for a long time.. he made chandler money, made west an all star and was blamed last year for being beasted by billups when in all the nuggets were waaay better than N.O and Paul was helpless.. they play peja who might be the worst defender in the league along with the entire knicks roster especially the newly aquired T-mac (sorry to say but mac culdnt defend a 10 year old version of himself ATM, SMH)…

    collison is nice but his turnovers are bordering on ridiculous… i think at the point gaurd spot the major knock on paul is his d.. he has steals n high I.Q. but you cant teach size which he aint got.. thats why sadly i am always hesistant to call Nash a great point gaurd… in todays game people call you great and you get all the hype when you play O but when you give up a reciprocal amount of production on the other end of the court it negates you greatness..

    Nash should have never won any MVPs because he doesnt defend a lick… not for lack of effort but for an immense lack of ability… it frustrated me endlessy seeing the suns needing a stop and whoever it was be it Parker or a member of the Mavricks expose him.. you cannot win when the pg position is penetrated endlessly in the playoffs… look what billups did to paul last year..

    the game is played at both ends but the media only seem to recognise greatness on one end.. if D was taken into account many of the current players would not get the press they get now.. and that excuse of them being tired because they exert themselves on the O end is just tired..
    thats why I can respect people like kobe cus he can defend but like many superstars he gamebles on D because his status affords him the ability to do so.. D wade is the worst case… wade is actually my current favourite player but lax d is annoying and all the talk last season about him being first team all defense was a joke..

  • Coop

    Post #4 win!

    Coop

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    @ Austin

    Point taken. Probably because I haven’t looked at Kidd’s stats since early in the year, because I don’t care about Kidd. He doesn’t impress me anymore. He’s just not as much of a multitasker as Williams/Nash/Paul who I consider the elite. He doesn’t do AS MANY things well.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    And for everybody else, let’s stop with the “Chris Paul made David West” argument. Again, I’m not downing CP, but he didn’t make those jumpers for D-West. He didn’t grab those rebounds for D-West. He doesn’t routinely command a double-team that leaves West being guarded by an inferior player. Does Paul have a role in West’s success? Obviously yes, just like Peyton Manning has a role in Marvin Harrison’s success. But don’t short-change West because he has a good point guard. It’s not like CP is spoon-feeding him and West would be Hamed Haddadi without him.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    Re: pace, though, I realize there’s not a super difference between the top and bottom of the list. Mostly it’s just personal observation– Collison is faster, as a person, than Paul. He doesn’t hold onto the ball as long. He doesn’t have a lot of the “tricks” Paul likes to employ, doesn’t work the clock or the refs. The team plays… differently… when he plays. I would be willing to bet they’re much less efficient but they all run faster to keep up with Collison. That’s just how it looks. The other members of the team also tend to take more of the offense upon themselves than when CP is running the point. It’s sort of the Kobe thing where there is a tendency to stand around and watch and wait for greatness. Peja, for example, comes off screens and takes a greater role, whereas he tends to just corner camp with Paul on the floor.

    Another interesting fact is that Paul is always, constantly in Collison’s ear. I think he’s learning a lot from him. Notice that he was nowhere near as good in his first starting stint back in November when Paul had the hurt ankle.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    Re David West:

    West has averaged 19 PPG without CP this month, exactly the same as with him. Chris Paul GOT Chandler alley oops. But he can’t exactly make West hit all those mid-range jumpers. Yeah, his rise to who he is coincided with CP getting drafted, but his minutes also doubled that year (his 3rd) AND it was the first year he was both 1) healthy 2) not a rookie.

  • Jayo

    I think ticktock6 has hit it on the button. CP is a baller putting up big time numbers in a slow-paced system. Had Byron Scott played Thornton more & let NO play at a faster pace. Then CP’s numbers would be even better. The system in NO is lets overpay for mediocrity. Jeff Bower should be fired! He signed MoPete, Peja, & Posey in consecutive offseasons. Then had to nerve to draft Julian Wright in 2007 when EVERYBODY knew they needed a wing shooter. How good would NO look w/ Stuckey or Rudy Fernandez at the 2?

  • Random

    As a hornets fan, i really would love to know since when have they played in some sort of system. If you call just stand still while Chris Paul works miracles and covers up for everyone else’s inability to score on their own a system go ahead. Whoever said Collison made Marcus Thornton must have not seen him win SEC player of the year in LSU. Darren Collison is good but the pace that the team plays with him is more up-tempo, which does help his stats and contributes to his high turnover rate. Lastly, no one can blame CP for the hornets getting dominated in the playoff last year when the third best player on that team was arguably Rasual Butler.

  • me

    nasty nelson in boomerang?

    damn yall went back for that one.

    I’d like to take credit for this article, my comment in this morning’s smack alluded to this.

  • common sense

    you could def make a point that paul is mentoring collison sighting the example of goran dragic of the suns… this guy sucked last season but now he led the suns to a W over OKC.. you know hes learnt a couple of things of nash and the same can be said for collison…

  • LakeShow84

    I would have to say no he isnt a product of the system simply because Paul could make all the passes in ANY system.. hes a pure PG by far..

    His #’s would be down seeing he would have to pass to INITIATE plays like Deron does now but thats about it.. still give you 20/4/9 probably.. just dont expect those 30/13,14,15 games..

  • jer

    OH MAN WHY NO LOVE FOR RONDO!? you pretty much put all the point guards in there but rondo..why oh why

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody Gabriel Brogden

    Man, CP is talented AB. He was actually a decent pg at Wake Forest where he definitely wasn’t a product of the system. He works within the system but makes the system work effortlessly. The english he puts on his passes is pure craftsmen. The vision, unparalled. His subs are talents in their own right. But CP is as solid at pg as they get. Jack of all trades, master of none. Real workman like, with a splash of dazzle. Happens to be one of the faces of the L. So I disagree, he’d produce no matter what.

  • janet

    I agree with ticktock6. CP is a fantastic player. It has been a joy seeing the Hornets play so well even without him. Thornton is developing into a great talent. He’s a fantastic rookie. CP is one of the best pgs in the league. He has so much knowledge about the game. DC is a great player but if you watch any of the games Paul is always in his ear giving him pointers. He’s his own personal coach.

  • ctkennedy

    the only thing this whole argument proves is that your point guard cant be your best player in the playoffs tryin to win 4out of 7 in 4 series while they will get their numbers when it gets crutch time they cant factor in the defensive end on none of the wing players in the league to consistently win games

  • Boogie

    I dont know why people are on here trying to find ways to knock two very legit pg’s.
    First of all what system exactly is n.o running that is so p.g beneficial? i dont see how giving a rookie the green light helps them stack up numbers. It means they have to outhink and outplay other nba teams and cannot rely on plays specifically designed to help them get buckets or dimes.
    On a team like n.o on of the hardest things to do is get assists cos everyone needs an easy look. the fact that collison is doing well AND getting buckets is a testament to his smarts. I can see how he’s is learning from paul because hes always lookin to pass but is aware that as long as he establishes that mentality early on he has much greater room to operate himself. Something which chris paul is a master of. The difference is when no one else is hittin Paul can more easily impose his will on a game till they do and paul is better at reading defenses and setting up very easy plays. This is the only way to run a fresstyle offense and I dont see how anyone on this site is gonna say that is easy to do in the NBA as a rookie.

    Bottom line. N.O is stacked at pg and the Knicks fucked up 3x over. Jennings, Lawson, Collison.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Great article. Don’t know how I feel about it.

  • weng santos

    Every player of every self-respecting coach is a product of a system to some degree. A coach wants to coach: he wants to teach, he wants his team to reflect his philosophy and his strategy. He wants to win, but he wants to win using a system he believes in.

    And he wants players who are coach-able.

    Phil believes in the triangle. And good for him, coz he has the best isolation player out of the triangle in the game in Kobe. Kobe will score on anybody; but his teams win because of that damned triangle.

    Unlike the master of multiple systems Coach Smith, Coach Boeheim at Syracuse believes he can defend anybody and any offense with his 2-3 zone. Year after year his teams are successful; year after year he gets kids drafted in the NBA, kids who make their own marks.

    Point is, a good player will still be a good player, regardless of the system. But with the perfect combination of system and player, wins happen.

    Otherwise, why coach at all if your can’t do it on your terms? Either get me a team that will play my way or fire me.

  • Keith

    I like the debate this has started.

    Paul is legit. Thing is, point guards are becoming the fashion at the moment. Between Paul, Williams, Rondo, Rose, Westbrook, Evans, Jennings and Ellis you’re looking at the deepest pool of young talent in the league at any spot. That’s before you consider other potentially good PG’s like Lawson, Collison Rubio (?)or Holiday coming through.

    So yeah, Collison has been a huge surprise this year, but it’s not like he was never capable of stepping up. New Orleans has been really inconsistant this year, so Paul won’t be having the best of it, and Collison is ready to step in and is hungry to prove himself. Makes sense to me that he would be doing as well as he has, especially learning from someone like CP3.

    If you replaced any point gaurd in the league with Paul none of the fans of those teams would complain. He wouldn’t make any team worse.

  • Josh Tha roc

    Good Article Austin. Maybe a little props for giving you the inspiration wouldn’t have hurt:

    “February 20th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Josh Tha roc says:

    Is it just me or is collison not getting the props he deserves. Dude is putting up Numbers.
    Or is n.o set up for pg to dominate? If so does collisons success detract from aura surrounding cp3?”

    haha

  • Kia

    I can’t think of any team who would complain about having Paul as their pg. Collison is learning the best from him. Either way NOLA is set in their pg position.

  • NTstateOFmind

    some fools are just too stupid to read

    AB just posting for the sake of argument, ya’ll know what Devil’s Advocate means, right?

    people catching feelings and getting all upset, SMH

  • eazy yeezy

    please remember collison hasnt had teams scouting him out as much on tape as chris paul- who continues to tear people up nonetheless. remember jennings dropping 55? teams started locking in on him and he fell off the face of the earth.

  • Ric Hardwood

    it’s actually Collison who is a product of a system designed for Chris Paul… I’m sure the Hornets’ playbook consist of plays where the PG creates the whole play…. you can actually see CP3 coaching Collison during games… Collison is learning pretty quickly tho’ and once he cuts the turnovers down a bit, he can be PG stud as well…

  • cam

    chris paul is the system.

  • MO

    Darren Collison SHOULD BE HAPPY HE HAS CP3 AS A MENTOR. THAT’S WHAT GREAT PLAYERS DO, THEY MAKE OTHERS BETTER.
    GET WELL SOON CP3!!!

  • karizmatic

    This is a great question I wish I would have gotten in on this yesterday, I’ve been wondering about it too. I think his success does take a little sparkle off of CP3, just because point guard is probably the hardest position in the league to master and if Collison can put up these numbers you have to think it might be something about whatever New Orleans is running (or lacking) that makes it easier for a good point guard to put up great numbers. That being said I think this is also more of a function of the fact that with CP3 out we’ve already forgotten how truly nasty he is.

  • Detroit Dave

    This reminds me of back in the late 90’s when everytime Shaq got hurt Elden Campbell filled in a played like Lew Alcindor. lmao. You nailed it in the first paragragh. Somedays I’ll take Nash, somedays its will be D-Will or Chauncey. CP3 is an elite point guard and would avg those numbers in any system with any starting 5 in the league. (even New Jersey)

    Collison is a better rookie than everyone expected he would be, but New Orleans shouldn’t make the same mistake Detroit did by trading away a TOP 5 point guard.

    “LET’S Be CLEAR” (FUNK MASTER FLEX VOICE) Chris Paul puts up numbers because he has GAME. PERIOD.

  • sweetv0mit

    you have to play the system so its still up to the player how they’re going to perform…

    but the way collison has been playing, do you think the hornets should trade CP?

  • eazy yeezy

    who here is taking collison over chris paul? find me one GM who would. and if you would-your dumb, crazy and stupid. CP is a top 10 (maybe 5) player in this league. but hey…i guess its time to jump ship and trade away chris paul because a rookie has had a few stellar games right?

    (zeke thomas would)

  • Nick L

    Terrible piece of writing.

  • Boogie

    For those wondering about Chris Paul being traded its not a trade because they think Collison could replace him. Its more that N.O just cant afford him. They will not give him up unless they ABSOLUTELY MUST and unfortunately, it seems that maybe that time will b sooner rather than later. however if they had to they could at least get excellent assets at the 3 and 2 spot where they are lacking instead of havin to find another comparable pg as a result of Collison. Not saying collison is better or even close, but his performance now indicates a bright future. Ideally they keep both and get more ballers without trading either.

  • Mo

    LMAO! So the Hornets finally get a back up point guard that can actually play basketball rather than the old, almost out of the league, shooting guard chuckers in point guard bodies players that we are accustomed to seeing back Paul up and now CP3 is a product of the system. GTFO! LMAO!

    @Gabriel Brogdan-Well said my man. Anyone in here is just seriously lying to themselves if they don’t think CP3 would produce anywhere.

  • Mo

    Sorry, I mispelled your name Brogden.

    As usual, ticktock6 is the voice of reason.

    @eyes-fist pound to you man.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    NEWS FLASH: The PG is supposed to have the ball and run the team. If you haven’t noticed, Guards genrally are more skilled than bigs. And Esp in NOH case, I wouldn’t want Peja, West, Emeka, Posey, Wright, or even Thorton handling the ball. I would rather my PG get 6TO’s with his ten assst and the team only have 10TOs, than have 17TOs because I tried to share the responsibilty.

    Also, Collison is really that nice. Game recognize game, plain and simple.

    If Bobby Brown was putting up these numbers when he was in NO, then you may have an argument. Darren was actually my pick as the best pure Pg in college.

  • Mo

    “Collison said he considers himself and student of the game and worked hard at making the advice Paul gives him translate on the court.”

    “He’s telling me who to hit, who to give the ball to at certain times,” Collison said. “So it’s like he’s playing out there on the court and I’m just obeying what he’s telling me to do, just listening, because I know at the end it’s going to help us out.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-hornets-collisonschallenge&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Maybe you should be asking if Collison is a product of Chris Paul. LOL! But seriously, Collison is a great player in his own right.

  • Mo

    @Chicagorilla-You’re right. If Bobby Brown were putting up these numbers then one may have an argument. Chris Paul has had Antonio Daniels, Jannero Pargo, Bobby Brown, Speedy Claxton, Devin Brown as his backups. Collison=better than all of them as far as pure pg goes.

  • GreenBowl Packers

    D-will over CP anyday.

  • Rich

    Paul is a dope point guard pure & simple – Collison just happens to be pretty decent too. I may be wrong, but the idea of knocking certain players (in basketball and football, mainly) as beneficiaries of “a system” seems like a relatively new phenomenon. Steve Nash has been the worst victim of this – I swear, some folks seem to think they could plug their arthritic grandpa into the Suns’ D’Antoni-derived uptempo system and he’d be dropping double-doubles on a nightly basis. Paul and Nash are GREAT point guards, regardless of the systems they play in.

  • Mo

    @Rich-LMAO @ arthritic grandpa. I agree though.

  • surfnaked

    holy shit is this an actual article or sarcasm???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? cp3 is so damn talented and comes up clutch many times and goes unnoticed and does so much for a team which he barely has enough help on. this is crazy

  • BlackMan

    Whats the Hornets system?

  • Claw

    CP3 played well with Team USA also, he was dropping dimes and leading the break and when they partnered DWill with CP3 at the guard positions they were really clicking and passing the rock.

    It is a system that CP3 created that is PG driven, but Collison does have the talent to run but he is not nearly as efficient as CP3, but has proved to be a legit backup.

  • Close Observer

    Systems don’t make great players, Great players make systems.
    Chris Paul is a great player, but so is Darren Collison.

    Collison’s talent level and natural ability was taken for granted at UCLA and was for the most part suppressed due to UCLA’s slowdown, milk the clock system. Coming into the NBA he was forced to take a back seat to All Star pg CP3 (and he was benched by Byron Scott). He developed a hunger, learned, worked hard, and patiently awaited his opportunity. When CP3 went out, nobody expected Collison to perform the way he has.

    I think he gives way too much credit to CP3 for his success and not enough credit to his own hard work. But then again, Collison understands that recognizing CP3’s input is just good PR (Lets not forget, the guy did graduate from UCLA). I would argue that CP3 is in the rookies ear too much at times and forces the rookie to think way too much instead of just playing the game. It could be possible that CP3 is just trying to stay in the spot light by appearing to be the reason for the rookies success. I don’t hear anyone giving credit to Jeff Bower (for Collison’s success)…and he’s the head coach!

    Collison was a great player before he met Chris Paul. The NBA is all about opportunity. Chris Paul had his opportunity the day he got to New Orleans. Darren Collison is getting his now, and he is taking full advantage of it. Lets not give the wrong person credit here. Give Darren Collison his props.

  • Carlos

    I agree with Rich and Close Observer, when a point-guard has the ball on his hands all the time and he has the freedom to make all the decisions he wants, he is the system….. Look at Mike D’antoni in New York and how their PGs are struggling to run that system, their numbers will increase of course because of the more possessions, BUT this a big BUT they are not as efficient as Nash was, that’s why Mike seems frustrated all the time with their point-guards.
    The same goes with Paul and Collison, they are both the system, they just happen to be good at it….. watch Collison will be a top-10 point-guard in the league in 2 years, and probably a top 5 before he retires. How he can not be that good, when he has the speed, passing ability and also has learn from 2 of the greatest PG in the history of the NBA: Nash (now) and Paul (before he retires).
    By the way did you guys know that Collison learn alot when he participated in Nash’s camp 3 years ago, here is an article about that:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/sports/basketball/05nash.html?_r=1

    By the way to the guy who said Nash is not a great PG, because he is a mediocre defender, the same can be said about Magic, back in the showtime Lakers years, everyone knew Magic was a mediocre defender, but they still call him the best PG in the history, why? because his offense was so great that it didn’t matter how bad his defense was (plus also his team won many championships too). So the same thing can be said about Nash, in fact tell me a point-guard who’s greater offensively than Nash (except Magic of course)….. and when I say offensively I mean: Passing, Shooting, Offensive IQ, Accuracy, and Efficient. Maybe Paul will join them later on, but for now by far there is only Magic and Nash.

  • Lady Luck

    When I first read this article, I totally dismissed the question. Are you kidding me? Is Chris Paul not as good as he looks? I thought to myself, this person must not see him play, just watches the highlights.

    Then tonight as I tuned into the Orlando-Chicago game on TNT, D. Rose goes down with a sprained wrist. As the game moves forward, I see someone check in who I had forgot all about. Jannero Pargo.

    I thought to myself, wow, this dude gets NO PT in Chicago. He hasn’t played consistently well in any season, except when he played in New Orleans. Suddenly he was a coveted free agent, but opted to go overseas. Then nothing. He fell off, back to where he came. So it got me to thinking. Maybe there is something to this question in terms of the offensive system in N.O. It is clearly point/combo guard friendly.

    However, I don’t think that takes anything away from CP3’s talent. His game is too well-rounded. He is clearly coaching Collison, who is obviously talented and coachable.

    That’s great news for the future of Hornets. Collison and Thornton are good players, and CP3 is great. Maybe they can build on that.