Ranking Chris Paul's Best Passes for the L.A. Clippers This Season
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The fearless leader of the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers is the undisputed keeper of the "Greatest Point Guard Alive" title. Passing is just one of the tasks an NBA point guard must perform, and Paul does it better than just about anyone.
Want proof? Here are the 10 best passes Chris Paul has thrown so far this season. Enjoy the best that "Lob City" has to offer.
10. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (December 1, 2012)
First off, how about Chris Paul grabbing an offensive board!
The real magic happens when two Kings defenders think they have Paul trapped under the basket. It's almost a full second before they realize Paul has already threaded a pass through them to an onrushing DeAndre Jordan for a monster slam.
9. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (January 5, 2013)
When the Clippers are rolling, it's a party.
Chris Paul caps off a three-on-zero fast break by throwing a lob to DeAndre Jordan off the backboard. It's rare to find a play like this outside the All-Star Game.
8. Chris Paul to Eric Bledsoe (December 21, 2012)
Here's something you almost never see. One point guard throwing an alley-oop to another point guard.
Lost in the spectacle that is Eric Bledsoe rising for a sick throwdown is Chris Paul's pretty one-handed, over-the-shoulder lob.
7. Chris Paul to Blake Griffin (December 21, 2012)
Lobs are generally flashy, but Chris Paul mixes science with the art.
Here he makes a heady play in semi-transition, occupying both his defender and Blake Griffin's defender as Griffin makes his way up the court.
After a sneaky back pick by Lamar Odom frees Griffin to rumble down the lane, Paul's alley-oop pass catches the Kings defense napping. As Bill Walton says on the call, "There was no sense that, 'Okay, this is gonna happen here'".
6. Chris Paul to Blake Griffin (November 17, 2012)
It may seem as if a fast-break lob is easy to complete, but Chris Paul just makes this difficult play look easy.
Paul catches an awkward pass from Blake Griffin on the run, then without even taking a dribble—which keeps the lone defender from regaining proper balance after turning his attention to Paul—tosses up a one-handed lob to the perfect spot for an easy jam.
5. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (December 30, 2012)
Another masterful alley-oop created by Chris Paul's brilliance.
Paul catches the ball on the break and continues to dribble towards the paint in a false attack of the rim. That holds the attention of the big defending in the middle, who is focused on cutting Paul off and challenging a potential shot attempt.
Thus, the defender's body is turned out of position and he can do nothing but watch as Paul's sudden one-handed toss sails over his head into the hands of a soaring DeAndre Jordan.
4. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (October 22, 2012)
Here's another amazing alley-oop finish by DeAndre Jordan that was expertly set up by Chris Paul.
Paul takes the handoff from Blake Griffin and uses him as a screen. He then draws the attention of not one, not two but three Warriors defenders. He sends one scurrying back to the corner with a subtle head fake (seriously, watch Klay Thompson get completely faked out), then makes the helping big defender commit to him by launching himself as if to attempt a shot
In mid-air, Paul floats a pass right by the defenders and Jordan does the rest.
3. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (November 17, 2012)
Once again, Chris Paul converts on a high degree of difficulty lob pass.
Here he receives an awkward pass on the run from a streaking DeAndre Jordan. Instead of slowing down to catch the ball and let the defender get in position to react, Paul takes initiative and leaps to catch the ball on the fly.
He manages to get off an inch-perfect touch pass that's almost like a volleyball set while in mid-air. How does he do it?
2. Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan (January 5, 2013)
Nobody could have seen this one coming.
The Warriors decide to trap Paul off the pick-and-roll. While being forced towards the intersection of the mid-court line and the sideline—exactly where the Warriors want him—he manages to buy his roll man enough time to get near the rim before uncorking a beautiful half-court lob pass over the entire Warriors defense.
I've never seen a half court alley-oop against a set defense before. Chris Paul is a point guard wizard.
1. Chris Paul to Willie Green (December 25, 2012)
This play has stuck with me ever since I first saw it.
Chris Paul breaks out after a long rebound with a three-on-two advantage. Caron Butler draws one defender out to the corner with him, essentially making it a two-on-one.
Ty Lawson knows Paul's tendencies and stays in the passing lane as Paul dribbles up the court. Now, here's the key. Paul fakes a pass on the move while keeping his dribble alive. This causes Lawson to hesitate for a split second, giving Paul a small opening for a potential blow-by.
Lawson senses the advantage Paul produced for himself and begins to slide over to cut off the drive. Before Lawson even finishes repositioning his body, Paul fires off a pass in the angle created by Lawson's shift resulting in an easy dunk for Willie Green and a floored jaw for me.