Chris Paul: Just Born to Assist?
By Brian Martin
Just like the the State Farm commercial says, Cliff Paul's brother Chris was born to assist. And he does so better than any other player in the NBA.
Chris Paul leads the league in assists (12.1 per game) and points created by assists (26.8 per game) by a wide margin. John Wall is second in both categories at 9.2 assists and 22.2 points created, respectively.
But Paul doesn't just assist his teammates; he is also creating points for himself, averaging 18.9 points per game, good for 26th in the league.
When you combine the points he scores himself and the points he creates for others, Paul accounts for 45.7 points per game, tops in the NBA. Which means that, on a team that scores 106.4 points per contest -- second in the NBA -- Chris Paul's responsible for an incredible 43 percent of the offense.
Here are the top 10 players in terms of combined points and points created by assists.
|Player||PBA||PTS||TOT||DIFF (favors)||%TEAM OFF (TEAM PPG)|
|Chris Paul (LAC)||26.8||18.9||45.7||7.9 (AST)||43.0% (106.4)|
|Stephen Curry (GSW)||19.9||22.6||42.5||2.7 (PTS)||41.1% (103.4)|
|John Wall (WAS)||22.2||19.0||41.2||3.2 (AST)||41.6% (99.1)|
|LeBron James (MIA)||15.0||26.0||41.0||9.0 (PTS)||39.4% (104.1)|
|Kevin Durant (OKC)||12.3||28.2||40.5||15.9 (PTS)||39.1% (103.7)|
|Ty Lawson (DEN)||19.4||20.2||39.6||0.8 (PTS)||37.6% (105.3)|
|James Harden (HOU)||13.5||24.5||38.0||11.0 (PTS)||34.8% (109.1)|
|Jeff Teague (ATL)||18.7||17.4||36.1||1.3 (AST)||36.6% (98.7)|
|Goran Dragic (PHX)||18.1||17.9||36.0||0.2 (AST)||35.6% (101.1)|
|Monta Ellis (DAL)||13.3||21.9||35.2||8.6 (PTS)||33.9% (103.7)|
PBA: Points created by assists|
%TEAM OFF: Percentage of team's offense
As you can see, most players on this list are more dominant in one phase of the game compared to the other. Paul is ranked first in points by assists but 26th in scoring, leading to a 7.9 differential in favor of points by assists.
Kevin Durant, on the other hand, dominates on the scoring end of the spectrum. As the league's leading scorer (28.2 pts), his points created by assists are the lowest (12.3) among the top 10, but good enough to still rank fifth.
Phoenix's Goran Dragic is the most balanced player on this list, as he assists on just 0.2 more points than he scores for himself. Ty Lawson (0.8), Jeff Teague (1.3), Stephen Curry (2.7) and John Wall (3.2) also rank very high when it comes to providing a balance between scoring and assisting.
Among the assist leaders missing from the top 10 is Minnesota's Ricky Rubio, who is tied for third in points created by assists (19.9 per game), but since he scores just 8.7 points per game, he is 30th on this list.
On the flip side, Ryan Anderson averages 22.6 points per game (which would rank 10th in the league in scoring if he had played enough games), but creates only 0.9 points on his assists.
So is the commercial correct? Is Chris Paul born to assist?
Yes and no.
Yes, because he leads the league in assists, points created by assists, and is tied with Wall for the league lead with 2.2 secondary assists per game (the pass that leads to the assist).
No, because that's not all he was born to do on the basketball court. His scoring (18.9 per game), rebounding (4.9 per game, tops among point guards) and defense (2.3 steals per game, 4th in the league) are all part of why CP3 is currently sitting atop the Race to the MVP Ladder and why the Clippers are leading the Pacific Division with