Chris Paul One Steal Away from History

James ReesAnalyst IDecember 16, 2008

Chris Paul is on the brink of history. With a steal tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies, Paul will tie the NBA record for consecutive games with a steal (105) held by former San Antonio Spurs guard Alvin Robinson.  

It’s been an ongoing story in the New Orleans community for several months, but now it seems the national media are starting to take notice.

If Paul gets a steal tonight, he’ll have the opportunity to break the record tomorrow night at home against the Spurs. 

As everyone who follows the NBA knows, CP3 has been phenomenal this season. The gaudy numbers that put him in contention for the MVP award last season are better this year. He leads the league in assists and of course steals. His 12.1 dimes per game are two whole assists more than the second place Deron Williams. 

The Hornets, though, haven’t exactly lived up to preseason expectations thus far. At 13-7, they’re a middle of the road team, record-wise, in the Western Conference.

This year’s lineup is considerably different from the lineup Byron Scott used last year to get to the Conference Semifinals. Paul, David West, Tyson Chandler, and Peja Stojakovic are still the core of the team, but the role players have changed. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think the change has been entirely beneficial. While Posey and Devin Brown give Scott great contributions off the bench, I can’t help but wonder where Julian Wright has been all season. 

The Hornets have already lost games seven games because they haven’t been playing defense. In this sense, the Hornets severely miss Wright as a defender. He’s a high-energy guy who never fails to come up with a big steal or block to rev up the crowd.

He must be in Scott’s doghouse, because I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t be getting significant minutes over a guy like Rasual Butler. Butler has been okay as a replacement for Morris Peterson, but he certainly doesn’t have the potential game-breaking ability Wright has.

Backup point guard has been another issue plaguing the Hornets thus far, but it seems to have been addressed with the recent acquisition of journeyman guard Antonio Daniels. I like Daniels as a backup for Paul. He’s the type of guy that can ignite the second unit with scoring and running. 

Of course, anybody would have been an improvement over Mike James. Reggie Bush could probably have played point guard better then Mike James. It good, though, that the Hornets now have someone they can sub for Paul without worrying about too much of a drop off. 

At 13-7 the Hornets are in relatively good shape after a quarter of the season is over.  But they’ve got a couple of brutal stretches coming up soon, including a four-game trip out west at the beginning of January to play Portland, Denver, the Lakers, and Utah, consecutively. 

For now, though, it’s all about Chris Paul making history. Let’s hope he gets the steal in the first quarter so he can relax and focus on dominating every other aspect of the game.