Lebron James’ eye-popping numbers of late (he’s averaging 30-10-8 over his last five games) are blinding people to some other seriously freaky stat-stuffing performances around the league, namely those of Chris Paul.
Chris Paul already ruined my favourite and most-proclaimed statistic last season – the last player to average 20 points and 10 assists through a season. This was a special stat for me because the last person to do it was my favorite player of all time, Tim Hardaway. When you think about it, it’s a miracle it took fifteen years for someone to match it. Jason Kidd, Kenny Anderson, Rod Strickland, Stephon Marbury, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Deron Williams – none of them could reach the elusive 20-10 mark, evident proof of the difficulties in pouring in the points while remaining a play-maker. For years I would talk point guards to people and end up concluding they were inferior to Timmy Hardaway because of the 20-10 mark. Chris Paul has now ruined that argument for me. I thought I had a little ammunition up my sleeve because T-Bug did it back-to-back in 1991-92 and 1992-93, but alas, it appears Chris Paul is going to ruin that as well.
But it doesn’t end there. For a long time the benchmark for little people in the NBA has been Isiah Thomas. Throughout the eighties Isiah put up some pretty crazy numbers. The peak of his offensive prowess coincided with the peak of his passing prowess, resulting in four-straight 20-10 seasons, two of which included 4+ rebounds and 2+ steals. The elusive 20-10-4-2 season. It doesn’t get much better than that for point guards, and up until a couple of years ago only Isiah Thomas had achieved 20-10-4-2 in the last sixty years of NBA history. That was until Chris Paul came along.
After averaging 21.1 points, 11.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals last season Chris Paul put himself into that most elite of categories. And then he thought he’d go one better. Currently averaging 21.2 points, 11.0 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 steals, Chris Paul’s stats are now so ridiculous that John Hollinger’s computer explodes every time he tries to calculate his PER. It’s more impressive than any season Isiah had, especially when you consider CP3 is shooting a better clip from the field and the 3-point stripe. Again, one of my all-time idols has their once-exclusive stat completely ruined by Chris Paul.
And then we come to even more rarified territory – the 25-15-10-7 game. Before today, no one had registered 25 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and 7 steals in a game in the last 22 years. To use a HP phrase, it’s serious nova territory – supernova territory. I don’t even understand how you do all that in 48 minutes. It’s almost bordering on a joke, a big practical joke Chris Paul is playing on the rest of the league. Well HAHA Chris Paul. Well done. You’ve ruined it for everyone. Again.