CP3 for MVP

Posted: March 18, 2012 by centennialsports in Hoops

By Mike Skrzyniak

There's a new MVP in LA (Photo courtesy Howard How/Getty Images)

There may be bigger (Kevin Durant), stronger (Lebron James), and flashier (The Phantom of the Opera, err.. Kobe Bryant) players who will be favourites for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, but it’s the quiet demeanour and extreme effectiveness that makes Chris Paul the perfect choice for MVP this year.
Let me explain.

My first question to you is, did anyone expect the Los Angeles Clippers to challenge for a division title this year? If you said yes, then you’re a dirty, lyin’ son-of-a-gun.

The Clippers have arguably been the biggest joke of a sports franchise in the last 20 years. They has only participated twice in the playoffs since 1993. They probably know more about golf than our own resident golf girl . Homer and Marge were once referred to as the “Los Angeles Clippers of backyard tennis.” Great comment Lou.

I could go on and on with Clipper jokes, but I digress.

We sometimes forget that Chris Paul was destined for the other Los Angeles team. You know, Kobe and friends… but instead of heading to a veteran team playing in the same back court as one of the best ever, and protected by two seven-foot monsters, Paul was traded to the Aokigahara Forest of the NBA( read up, you’ll understand).

Not only has Paul brought the Clippers back to relevance, they are now the feel good underdog story the NBA hasn’t seen since the Golden State Warriors during the 2007 playoff run. Not only are the Clippers back, but they will be a difficult match-up in this year’s playoffs.

The point guard from Winston Salem, North Carolina is scoring 19.7 points per game, while contributing 8.4 assists for the fifth-seed Clippers. These stats won’t shock you, but his impact toward the team’s success goes much harder than what shows in the box score. The Clippers are averaging six less points per game compare to last year and they also rank 10 spots higher in offensive points per game. Paul is second in the league with 2.24 steals a game which is essential to the Clippers to run ‘n’ gun style. The athleticism in the open court sets up easy baskets for rising stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The media has christened the Clippers as Lob City. The new nickname refers to the plethora of rims destroyed by thunderous alley-oops and crafty pick and rolls. The Clippers aren’t afraid to flex a little swag when necessary. Right Kendrick?

Some people may argue that Chris Paul may not be the MVP of his own team, let alone the entire NBA. Blake Griffin did hatch the metaphorical egg that is Clipper fever with his constant highlight-reel dunks, But this time the Clippers are winning. Paul’s teammates may be putting up equal individual numbers to last year, but this year the points mean something.

The Clippers are now more than just fantasy player options.

We may be used to MVP point guards scoring an abundance of points (Derrick Rose) or recording absurd amounts of assists (Steve Nash) but it’s the balance of both these elements of the game that makes Paul so dangerous. Paul’s scored 25 points or more 10 times this year and in 12 games he has recorded double-digit assists.

I understand the Thunder are in first place, I understand that LeBron is having his best statistical season and I understand Kobe is still doing what Kobe does, hell, even Kevin Love is having a surreal year, but what Chris Paul has done for the Clipper organization is nothing short of transcendent. The Clippers are no longer a laughing stock.

It has been the “Lake-Show” for quite some in Los Angeles but thanks to Chris Paul, the other LA team is stealing the spotlight.

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