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A couple weeks ago, the Clippers pulled off what will prove to be the biggest move in franchise history by trading three players and a first-round draft pick to New Orleans for Chris Paul.
That one move made the Clippers instant contenders in the Western Conference and turned the team into one that will command its opponents’ respect night in and night out.
All you need to know about Chris Paul’s abilities as a basketball player were summarized in the last seconds of L.A.’s win over Portland on Sunday night.
With the Clippers up by two points and half-a-minute left, Chris Paul brought the ball up the court, called for a pick at the top of the key, split a double-team, drove through the lane and calmly banked a jump shot over the outstretched hand of LaMarcus Aldridge.
On the other side of the court, Paul clamped down on scorer Jamal Crawford and forced a jump ball as Crawford tried to release a three-point attempt. Then, despite the five-inch height disadvantage, Paul won the jump ball from Crawford to seal the victory.
You want highlight plays? No problem; CP3 has you covered. Midway through the fourth quarter, Paul threw up an off-balance shot from beyond the arc that barely beat the shot-clock buzzer to extend the Clippers’ lead to seven.
Speaking of highlight plays…