Saturday night, with 7:05 left in the second quarter and the shot clock running down, Paul navigated to the nail via a Deandre Ayton screen. Naturally, with Aytons man in drop coverage, Paul’s penetration and threat of a patented midrange pull up (or floater) sucked in the high help defender, leaving Mikal Bridges open, opposite on the left wing. Paul zipped an easy pass over to the streaky Bridges shooting pocket for a routine catch and shoot three, extending their first half lead to 41-23 en route to a 128-97 road win.
As routine of a read and play as the Wake Forest product has made in throughout his career, one he makes on a near possession by possession basis, this one allowed for him to usurp a legend and mentor of his, in Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
The former number 4 overall pick of the 2005 draft spoke briefly on his relationship with “The Big O,” and how he was made aware of his latest accomplishment.
Of the many statistical feats Paul has compiled throughout his illustrious career, one that will net him his own place in the Naismith Hall of Fame, he’s always remained extremely present and quick to redirect the focus on the task at hand.
He took to social media as his feat settled in, and continued to express how much of an honor it truly is to him.
The 10-time All-Star, with another looming selection to be announced tomorrow night on TNT, currently has 9,891 assists on his career, and is also the active leader. He resides 250 assists behind Magic Johnson for 5th all-time.
Should he continue with his pace of 8.5 assists per game (and stay in good health) he’ll surely ascend to 5th before the seasons end, with an outside chance at catching Mark Jackson for 4th all-time. As it stands, at said pace, Paul would end this season with roughly 10,257 career assists.
What’s unique about CP3 amongst this company of all-time great playmakers?
Amongst the top six assist-men of all-time:
- He’s third in assists per game, at 9.4
- He’s taken care of the ball best, with just 2.4 turnovers per game
- He and Stockton are the only two players in NBA history to lead the league in both assists per game and steals per game for more than one season. Stockton did so twice, CP3s done so three separate times
- He’s second in career points per game (18.4) to Magic Johnson (19.5)
- He has the fifth least minutes accumulated
- His +/- in impact is the best. Over their careers he’s 236 total points better than second best, in Nash at 5043
- He’s second to Stockton in career value over replacement (87.5) as well as in offensive win shares (135.2)
- He’s second to Magic in offensive boxscore +/- at 5.3
- He’s first in player efficiency rating (PER) at 25, which is also 9th in NBA history
In a small snapshot, all of this is to show exactly how impactful and depended upon Chris Paul’s teams have been on him, on both ends and in all areas of the game, throughout his career. Even more, it highlights just how great he truly is even when comparing his varying situations to the five players ahead of him in assists all-time.
He is the Point God for a reason. Take the time to appreciate the all-time great that he is, as he continues to impress in his age-35 season (season number 16) averaging 17.1 PPG. Of the aforementioned top six assist-men all-time, that mark ranks first in their age-35 seasons, and he ties for third with Stockton at the moment with 8.5 assists in said season.
I leave you lastly with highlights from his game versus New Orleans Friday night where he amassed 15 points and 19 assists.
Paul and the Suns, winners of 8 of last 9 and 9 of last 11 spanning through February, host Lillard and the Blazers tonight on NBA League Pass at 8pm CST.
Tap in! 🏀
***All stats and information are accurate entering play on 2.22, and are attributed to basketball-reference and statmuse unless indicated otherwise***