Head To Head: Chris Paul Vs Deron Williams

Naim KalajiContributor IIJune 5, 2010

I've decided that I'm going to do a head-to-head battle each week between NBA players. Today is the first one, and this week will feature the battle of two point-guards. Next week, I'll compare two shooting-guards. We will go up position's until we get to two centers, and then start again.

The main purpose of this is to get an idea of where we rank players in this league, in addition to resolving people's debates.

The criteria which I shall use for today's match-up between Utah star Deron Williams, and Hornets guard Chris Paul are as follows:

  1. Scoring
  2. Mid-range and 3-point shooting
  3. Assists and passing
  4. Speed and agility
  5. Defense
  6. Strength
  7. Ball Handling



Deron Williams has shown the ability to score the ball with relative ease. He averaged 18.7 PPG in the regular season. He can score in a number of ways, whether it's his straight line drives to the hoop, or his pull-up jumpshot (which has greatly improved), or even his ability to post-up smaller, and weaker point-guards. Williams is a match-up nightmare. Williams perhaps can score in more ways and at more ease than any other point-guard in the league, including Paul.

Chris Paul has missed a major chunk of the 09-10 season due to injury, which is a worry for not just Hornets fans, but for fans of beautiful, and fast-paced basketball. Before the injury, CP3 was regarded as the best point-guard in the game (although D Will fans might argue otherwise). Despite the injury, he averaged exactly the same number of points (18.7) as Williams. Paul can also score in a number of ways, and he even averaged around the 20-22 PPG the year he finished second in MVP voting. However, he can't post-up like Williams, giving Williams another dimension to his scoring ability.

Winner: Deron Williams



Deron Williams' consistent improvement in his game has allowed him to hit from mid-range with much more accuracy, and potency. Defenders can no longer keep their distance, perhaps in anticipation of Williams driving through the lane. He now has a great jumpshot which he can hit from anywhere on court. He also has an amazing ability to create his own space through a number of mind-zapping tricks, and he's not afraid to knock down a three in the defenders face. Williams shoots 47 percent from the field, but needs to bump up his 37 percent average from downtown.

Chris Paul has improved at an even better rate than Williams since he first came into the NBA. He shoots 49 percent from the field. He can hit the jumpshot at many times, but what impresses me is that he picks his spots at exactly the right time. Even if he's open, he's a pass first point-guard. For a point-guard he shoots a very high FG percent. He also shoots 41 percent from three, showing that he isn't one to be left unguarded.

Winner: Chris Paul



D Will averaged 10.5 assists in the regular season. The multi-talented point-guard was able to run the Jazz offense very smoothly, making players such as CJ Miles, Wesley Matthews, and Paul Millsap look a whole lot better. He puts things on a plate and makes the right passes at the right times. Plus, nobody can forget that Williams, and Boozer are one of the better one-two punches in the NBA. Williams is one of the top in the game when it comes to dishing out assists and passes.

Chris Paul scarily enough averages just 0.2 assists more that Williams. For someone who has only played 45 games this year, and for someone who has a pretty lousy New Orleans team, he still managed to get the best out of them when he was on the floor. His amazing combination play with Tyson Chandler is no longer available, which makes his assist number all the more impressive. Paul-West is almost as powerful as Williams-Boozer. Paul may have disadvantaged surroundings, but he makes better use of them.

Winner: Chris Paul



Deron Williams' size may let you think he's not the quickest in the world. Don't let his size fool you! Williams is incredibly quick, but in a different way than Chris Paul. Williams uses his power to burst into long strides, which helps him penetrate through defenders, and set up plays.

Chris Paul is quick in another way. While Williams powers up and down court, Chris Paul glides up and down the floor. Paul weaves his way in and out, making it difficult for defenders to read his game. Both players are very agile as well. It's unfair to say one's quicker than another, although it would be interesting to see them race each other.

Winner: neither



This one may shock a lot of people. Deron Williams is able to use his strength to keep his opponents in front of him. He's very hard to break down off the dribble because he is very good at it himself. He averages 4 RPG and 1.3 SPG. His four rebounds that he collects every game is impressive for a guard, although his size helps. He puts a lot of pressure on a ball handler, and his ability to read the game defensively has improved.

Chris Paul is deceptively good at defending. He averaged an incredible 2.6 SPG, and for someone of his stature, he even managed to pull down 4.2 RPG. He has the quickness as well as the determination to keep up with other guards, although some of the bigger guards such as Williams, Kidd or Billups can take advantage by backing him down in the post. Still, he's a pesky defender, and perhaps a better one too.

Winner: Chris Paul



Not much of a contest. Deron Williams uses his body strength extremely effectively. He overpowers other guards, and once he is running at full speed, there are seldom few big men who can stop him. As mentioned before, Williams can use that strength for post-play, and for brushing other defenders off who try to stop him. Williams is hands-down the best point-guard in the game at taking contact, and finishing a play.

Chris Paul has deceptive strength. He takes contact well, but his size and weight do him no favors. He certainly isn't as strong as Williams.

Winner: Deron Williams



Deron Williams handles the ball very well on offense. The Jazz are a team that focus on precise execution of plays, and Williams fits the bill perfectly. While Williams is careful, that doesn't mean he isn't adventurous. He has the ability to make game-changing plays. He could improve his 3.3 TPG though, and that is a minor flaw in his ball handling.

Chris Paul frequently makes plays that are harder than "putting a camel through the eye of a needle." He handles the ball exceptionally, and only averages 2.5 TPG. He has one of the highest assist-to-turnover ratio's in the league, despite him playing free-flowing offensive basketball.

Winner: Chris Paul


FINAL SCORE: Deron Williams 2-4 Chris Paul

While both are undisputedly the best two point-guards in basketball, I give the slight edge to Paul. All seven criteria's used to judge both players came with almost identical results, but Paul was superior in four categories. Not to mention, Paul has been taken to the All-Star game on more occasions...