Shook Ankles: Chris Paul Is Simply The Best
Today, NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk posted a clip featuring various NBA players discussing who they think owns the league’s best crossover. Guys like Jason Terry, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, and Courtney Lee cite both Jamal Crawford and Derrick Rose as being the top two candidates. As I mentioned in this morning’s piece on Deron Williams, both are fine options, and there’s really no placing one above the other. But where this clip gets it wrong is it’s exclusion of what I believe to be one of the league’s four or five most unstoppable sequences.
Chris Paul’s crossover is more devastating to a defense because when it happens, all five defenders are equally in trouble. Once he blows by that first guy he’s infiltrated the core. Instead of focusing on getting to the rim or knocking down a shot for himself, passing lanes have naturally developed and everything breaks down. When it happens—as the relentless torture ensues—opposing coaching staffs are forced to look away. As good as Rose and Crawford are, once they get close to the basket it’s like a shark sniffing blood: they want to score, and defense’s have very tall men who’re paid to stop them. Paul is different though, because the ways he can put two points on the board for his team are unpredictable, smart, and varying. Crawford and Rose have elegant crossovers, but I believe Chris Paul’s is the best.
Take note of the move above. Right now Tony Allen is regarded as the best perimeter defender in basketball. Just LOOK at what Chris Paul does to him. For me, it’s an open and shut case.