A few weeks ago a good friend of mine proclaimed that Chris Paul was the best point guard in the NBA. At the time I scoffed at the idea. I argued Paul doesn't have the quickness of Derrick Rose, the athleticism of Russell Westbrook, or a jumper like Steve Nash. After watching the first round of the playoffs it appears I'm about to take a big spoonful of humble pie.
Not only is Chris Paul the best point guard in the league he is the NBA's most valuable player. For years I've thought the best player in the league and the most valuable player are the same thing. This is not true. Lebron James is the best all around player, but he doesn't excel in all facets of the game. The talent is there just not the intangibles. Chris provides leadership, delegates responsibility, and sets the tempo for the entire team.
In addition his presence is critical in the development of Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin. Blake's skill set is still very raw and limited. Without someone orchestrating the fast break and putting him in a position to succeed he would not be as successful. Blake needs Chris Paul like Karl Malone needed John Stockton, Shawn Kemp needed Gary Payton, and Amare Stoudemire needed Steve Nash.
Chris Paul is an anomaly. He is a true point guard in an era where that concept really doesn't exist. In today's NBA the motto is shoot first and ask questions later. Floor generals are a dying breed because better stats equate to more money and SportsCenter highlights make you more popular. Chris Paul runs the team, hits clutch jumpers when necessary, and does whatever the team needs when they need it. He won't go to the championship like Lebron, but that shouldn't diminish his amazing season. He's succeeded where many others have failed.