Remember how that name struck fear into the opponents hearts, put excitement in ours and adoration among his peers? Those are distant memories that seem all to unfair to Hornet fans. We yearn for that old CP3 where he’d get his way, look to score and pass, where the defense didn’t have a clue what he was going to do. Something seems amiss among this seasons play. The explosiveness is gone, he no longer can get to the basket at will, he doesn’t run the floor, at all, can’t beat his man, hides in the corner and lets Willie Green run the offense.
What the heck is going on?
Fans have now been divided as to whether or not CP3 can return to be MVP. While some still think Chris can have that “break-out game” those same people are “hoping” that he can have such a game. They have been restored to hanging on an edge where he can have that one performance that captures why we fell in love with him in the first place. Reality though is much harsher. Even if Chris breaks out and has a 30-15-6 game it’s still only one game. Most of his better performances this season have been because he’s had a hot shooting night. Those big nights are void from aggressive drives, fast-break lay-ups or flat-out beating his man to the spot. The way he plays has changed.
Do I also hold out hope he can get back to 2008 form? Of course I do. I wouldn’t be a fan otherwise. I find it harder and tougher to believe that he can get back to being the aggressive, dominating Chris Paul we all know and love. The thing is that he’s changed the way he’s played. Whether it’s a mental decision to not run up the floor, or not drive to the lane is beyond both you and I. The answer lies solely with Christopher.
Just take a look at the game above and notice how he scores. He constantly pushes the ball into the lane off the pick-and-roll. Even if it’s not a layup, it’s then a floater. In the open court, he beats his man. Note that he takes one jumpshot in the entire sequence. One. In today’s game, nearly all his attempts are jumpers. His game has completely altered from what it used to be. He no longer seems to want to score and that’s what tick’s everyone off. His scoring was an integral part of this team’s success. Averaging 16 points (that average is going down each game) isn’t going to cut it.
The ramblings that “he has his mind on NY” are absurd. That just isn’t him. Sure he may be frustrated, but don’t for a second think his play is a reflection of where he wants to play. The thing that bugs me more than anything is his fourth quarter play. This was Chris Paul time. If we were within 10 points of any team in the fourth you could guarantee that CP & Co. would give it a red hot run. These days though it just isn’t the same.
He stands in the corner, doesn’t penetrate to score, when he does penetrate the bigs get there to cut him off, his explosiveness has disappeared. Sure his knees could be the problem, but we have no right to question them because no one has a doctorate in Medicine.
Chris Paul sure has kicked the Hornets’ Nest that is our fan-base. We are frustrated just like him, but if we act with an understanding and focus towards the next game then maybe he will too. It’s been tough, but we must push on just like he.