Chris Paul is 13-15 in the first round (through 5/1/13) and 16-23 overall in his four playoff appearances during his eight-season career. He’s only made it out of the first round TWICE and has never made a conference final. Only once has he lead a team to a seed higher than five and that year he was bounced by the Spurs in the second-round.
On these numbers alone, this doesn’t sound like a “Point GOD” or someone that should be deemed the “Third Best Player In the NBA”.
For comparison’s sake, here’s how the insurance salesman compares to playoff pariahs Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady and Dwight Howard:
Carmelo Anthony – 25.4 PPG, 2.9 APG, 7.2 RPG, 41.7% FG, 39.1 MPG
-19-41 W/L or 32% winning percentage (through 5/1/13) – my thoughts on Melo and the Playoffs are well-documented.
Tracy McGrady – 24.6 PPG, 5.4 APG, 6.2 RPG, 42.8 % FG, 37.7 MPG*
-15-29 W/L or 34% winning percentage (NOT counting the 2009 playoffs where T-Mac was injured and did not play or the 2013 playoffs with the Spurs)
*These numbers are pretty incredible considering I counted his 11-12 Atlanta Hawks run where he played about 15 minutes a game. That, and I was too lazy to redo the math without counting his five minutes of playoff action this year with the Spurs.
Dwight Howard – 19.7 PPG, 1.4 APG, 14.1 RPG, 60.1 % FG, 38.9 MPG
-30-32 W/L or 48% winning percentage
Chris Paul – 20.7 PPG, 9.6 APG, 5.1 RPG, 47.6% FG, 39.5 MPG http://www.nba.us/playerfile/chris_paul/career_stats.html
-16-23 W/L or 41% Winning Percentage (through 5/1/13)
In terms of winning percentage, Paul compares pretty favorably to the group, but Carmelo was pretty darn close to making it to the NBA Finals in ’09 and D12’s winning percentage is a LOT higher than most people would expect. As for why I included the players I did above – they were the only ones that are either currently playing or have played very recently at a high level that have been considered a top five NBA player at one time and that have lost more playoff games than they’ve won. In addition to win/loss records, I didn’t include certain players for various reasons – Kevin Durant (progressed each year, made Finals), Russell Westbrook (see: KD), Derrick Rose (won MVP, made conference finals), Deron Williams (never really considered “elite”). The Deron Williams-Chris Paul comparison probably warrants some more looking into though considering their rivalry goes back to college and their time in the league has coincided with each other.
We could dive deeper into what his supporting cast looked like each playoff run, who he was facing each round and who he was playing under (see: VDN or George Shinn) or for (see: THE CLIPPERS), but nobody cared about all that when Kevin Garnett was struggling to get out of the first round or when Lebron James “couldn’t win the BIG ONE”. Kevin Durant has only been in the league for six seasons (two less than CP3) and has already made an NBA Finals and will, assuming they beat Houston, make it to more second rounds than Paul has his entire eight-year career after this week. LBJ has made it to three NBA Finals already, including one with one of the worst supporting casts this side of the Allen Iverson-led 2000-01 Sixers.
For Chris Paul’s sake, he better hope his Blake-less frontline can man-up against the bullies from Memphis. Otherwise, the critics could start calling him the “Carmelo Anthony of the West”.