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The most entertaining tussle-within-the-tussle will be at point guard between Steve Nash and Chris Paul.
Nash, who arrived in LA this summer via trade after eight seasons with the rival Phoenix Suns, remains one of the NBA's most efficient floor generals even at the age of 38. A master of the pick-and-roll, his abilities should only be accentuated alongside such fine finishers as Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Moreover, Nash ranks among the most efficient shooters in basketball regardless of position. He's always a threat to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Thanks to a smooth stroke that, like a fine wine, only seems to get better with age.
He's easily the best point guard to wear purple and gold since Magic Johnson and, ironically enough, wouldn't have wound up a Laker had commissioner David Stern not nixed the original Chris Paul trade.
Not that the Lakers (or any team in its right mind, for that matter) would forgo the opportunity to employ a once-in-a-generation-type player like Paul.
Paul's the best point guard in the game today, hands down. He, too, is a premier pick-and-roll operator. Thanks to his ability to shoot from distance, finish with a floater or find his open teammates while on the move.
All of which is tied directly to his fantastic "feel" for the game and his ability to make the right decisions in just about any situation.
Like Nash, CP3 manipulates the ball like its tethered to his hand, changing speeds with ease and effectiveness that's fun to watch. His shooting has improved dramatically over the years, and the move to LA proved to be a boon to his on-court leadership in productivity in the clutch.
Paul will always be small for an NBA player and injuries to his knees have sapped him of some of his athleticism, though he's still a superior defender to Nash by leaps and bounds.
Nash, on the other hand, is smart, savvy and gives proper effort but lacks the lateral quickness, strength and thieving hands that have made CP3 a four-time All-Defensive team selection.
If basketball were a one-way game, then Nash might have a case (albeit still a losing one) against his new neighbor.
But defense is crucial to the cause. As such, Paul gets the nod here.