In my latest article covering Kobe's record-setting eruption for 42 points, marking four straight games of 40 or more points by a 33-year-old (oldest player in NBA history to do so), I left it open for the public to voice their opinion about Chris Paul, who scored 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field (3-of-4 three-point), dished out six assists, recorded three steals and only turned the ball over once in 39 minutes of play.
While many people proclaimed CP3 to be the best PG in the NBA, there was a relative minority of people who had a different name in mind:
I promised all of them that I'd break down the pros and cons for each player, and allow you, the Bleacher Report community, to voice your collective opinion on the best and second best point guards in the NBA.
So, let's do this.
Chris Paul: LAC, 9 Games, 37.3 MPG, 18.0 PPG, 8.4 APG, 3.0 RPG, 2.8 STLPG, 2.2 TOPG, 52.0 FG%, 45.5 3PT%, 85.7 FT%
Derrick Rose: CHI, 13 Games, 37.0 MPG, 20.8 PPG, 8.7 APG, 3.5 RPG, 0.9 STLPG, 3.2 TOPG, 43.9 FG%, 31.3 3PT%, 87.7 FT%
There you have it. The statistical rundown says that in essentially the same amount of minutes, Rose scores 2.8 more points per games, makes 0.3 more assists and grabs 0.5 more rebounds than Paul.
CP3, on the other hand, averages one whole turnover less than Rose, nearly triples Rose's steals and shoots better from the field and from three than Rose each night.
Take what you want, but those are the non-debatable stats.
Now, let's talk play style.
I'm tired of hearing about someone being a pure PG and someone being a scoring PG. A point guard is a point guard. They run the offense, they move the ball around and they are the coach on the court.
That being said, Paul and Rose have two completely different play styles that make them two completely different players.
Rose is a score-first player, but he is not by any means a bad passer. I've seen him penetrate the lane, with ease, only to make a beautiful, no-look bounce pass to Carlos Boozer for the easy score. He's exponentially more explosive than Paul, and he makes the most of that explosiveness by scoring in the paint.
Paul, on the other hand, is more of a "let the game come to me" kind of player. He moves the ball around, gets the ball to his teammates and only starts jacking up shots either when his team needs a bucket or to put the dagger into the opposing team.
CP3 can score from anywhere on the court. You can't leave him open anywhere on the court because he'll make you pay. You can't play him too close because he's too quick and will break you down before you blink, and you can't play him too far because he'll shoot right then and there.
That being said, both Rose and Paul are un-guardable. There's no answer on defense for either of them.
Even though the Chicago Bulls are, hands down, the best defensive team in the NBA, Derrick Rose is easily the worst defender in their starting lineup. At 0.9 steals per game, the explosiveness that he brings to the offense is not there on defense. I've seen Andre Miller light Rose up for 28 points last season, and Miller, while he is a veteran, is way past his prime.
Conversely, Paul is an excellent defender. He more than triples Rose's steals per game and locks down anyone he's assigned to guard. CP3 plays the passing lanes, but more importantly, he anticipates his man's move and reacts accordingly.
He even does that smooth swipe-down steal that we all love to see.
You can't argue this one either. CP3 is clearly the better defender.
Taking Care of the Ball
Though Rose is the facilitator of the Chicago offense, he holds on to the ball a heck of a lot more than anyone else on the team. As a result, he turns the ball over an alarming 3.2 times per game, leaving him with a 2.72 assist to turnover ratio.
That's not terrible, but when you look at his game log, he's gone games with four, five and six turnovers, and never less than two.
Paul, at 2.2 turnovers per game, has an assist-turnover ratio of 3.82-to-1. That's just beautiful.
Another thing we must remember is that Chris Paul is in a new system with a new coach and new players. He's still adjusting, learning the offense and establishing chemistry and timing with his new teammates, and he's still keeping the ball safe and making the right decisions.
Rose has been with the same team since the beginning of his career in 2006 and has had a steadily increasing turnover rate.
Whether you want to side with Rose or Paul is up to you. My job is to present the stats and the facts in a manner so crystal clear that even the most blind fans will be enlightened.
My personal favorite is Chris Paul. But Derrick Rose is a very, VERY close second.
So, in your opinion, who's the best PG in the NBA?
Vote and comment below!
Kristian Winfield is a Featured Columnist on the Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @BriscoXCI .
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