LA Clippers: Can Chris Paul Repeat Last Year's Performance?

David O'ConnorContributor IINovember 4, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts in the third quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Chris Paul is an elite NBA point guard.

That much is clear as day. But after a great season last year, there are more than a few Clippers fans who aren't sure if he'll be able to back it up.

When paired up with the dynamic Blake Griffin, Paul finds ways to win. They call the Clippers "Lob City" thanks to all the times Paul can just toss up the ball for Griffin to slam home.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Paul wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Now that he's accustomed to his new home, Paul has only positive comments.

"You go back to last year, and I didn't know when I came here but I hoped for the best. But it's unbelievable, and better than what I ever imagined," Paul told the Los Angeles Times.

A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Paul was drafted fourth overall by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005. Since coming from Wake Forest, Paul has blossomed into one of the league's best.

That's coming from a fantasy basketball perspective, too. Though Miami Heat superstar LeBron James is the consensus star, Paul is often ranked No. 2 in rankings.

At the conclusion of last year's regular season, Paul was also ranked second in NBA player rankings by The Sports Network.

Now, whether or not he'll remain the Clippers' most important player is the big question.

Paul's a great all-around point guard. He's terrific at being the floor general, and can almost always find an open man to dish the ball to.


He has the ability to score as well, but will often be found passing it off instead of going for the basket himself. This from a guy who's lightning-quick when driving at the rim.

While being selfless and passing the ball away is nice, Paul seems to be able to find a second gear in crucial moments. In fact, that's part of what makes him so valuable.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan believes Paul "sees a lot of plays before they actually happen."

Paul might not be psychic, but there are times when he seems pretty close.

All signs point to a successful season for the Clippers. Paul has played well in the early games of the season, and should be able to keep getting better from here on out.

He'll keep racking up his assists, and Los Angeles fans will hope he continues to raise excitement with his timely steals.

"When it comes to those assists, I told the guys on the team I have the easy part," Paul told the Times. "All I have to do is pass it."

Just keep passing the ball, Paul. As long as you're on your game, the Clippers will be a real challenge to go up against each night.