Could 2010-11 Be a Record Breaking Season for CP3?

Published: October 28, 2010

Last night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Orleans Hornets made 34 field goals. Chris Paul had six of those and of the other 28; he assisted on 16 of them.  And although those numbers were impressive, he easily could have registered 20+ assists if Belinelli and Ariza were able to knock down some wide-open shots that CP3 created for the two of them. Not one of Paul’s assists came in the 4th quarter, even though he did penetrate and get his teammates open looks in the final 8 minutes of that game.

If CP3 notched 16 assists last night when his teammates were a little off, don’t we have to wonder what his numbers will look like when dead-eye spot up shooters like Belinelli find their stroke? With more weapons around him than he has had at any point of his career, is it possible that CP3 can take down a record that has stood for over twenty years- and honestly hasn’t really ever been threatened by another player?

In the 1989-90 season, John Stockton set the single season APG mark by averaging 14.5 assists per game. The following year he averaged 14.2 and posted 12 or more assists per game in subsequent years. Other than Stockton, however, no other player has averaged more than 11.6 assists per game since Stockton set the record. In 2007-08, two point guards finished the season averaging 11.6 APG; one was Steve Nash and the other was Chris Paul.

While 07-08 was the best season in franchise history, this year’s version of the Hornets might have even more firepower than the team that averaged 100.9 points per game during that season. That team was a four-man unit on the offensive end that received contributions from time to time from role players like Rasual Butler and Jannero Pargo. This team, however, has at least five players not named Chris Paul who can go off for twenty on any given night. They are more athletic in transition and are more proficient from the perimeter than their counterparts from 07-08.

What this team does not have is the Crescent City Connection; the game-changing lob from CP3 to Tyson Chandler that accounted for nearly 2 assists per game for Paul over the course of the 07-08 season. It also doesn’t have the Peja Stojakovic of three years ago. That year Peja shot 44 percent from deep, averaging over 16 PPG in 35 minutes. Although Peja is on this team (for now), he cannot be counted on to connect on his outside shots with the consistency he did in that magical season.

Despite missing out on those two key ingredients, however, it is still extremely likely that this year’s team can produce better numbers offensively. While the Hornets finished 9th in the league that year in points scored, they finished 26th in pace- averaging just under 90 possessions per game.  With more athletic wings like Bayless, Thornton, Ariza, and Belinelli surrounding him, Chris Paul can push the ball more and create easier opportunities for everyone around him.

The infusion of young, athletic talent has taken the onus off of CP3 to score and the days of him averaging 20-22 PPG might be behind him. It was a role he was reluctant to embrace to begin with, and now he might not have to anymore. He can focus on being the facilitator for an offense that might be one of the best in the league once the pieces figure out how to mesh. We’ve seen what is possible when CP3 is surrounded by talent, and with this Hornet team being the most stocked offensive team that CP3 has had to date, it might be time to rewrite the record books.


  1. notoriousBEE

    October 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I love the optimism.

  2. nikkoewan

    October 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    i hope the rewriting of record books is accompanied by wins 🙂

  3. Joe Gerrity

    October 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Then those 3:2 odds on bodog for him leading the league are looking pretty good.

  4. Joe Gerrity

    October 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Also, he put up 16 assists while the team was only playing at a pace of 94.0, the league average from last year. If they do speed up, he could put up crazy numbers.

  5. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    October 28, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I love how the arena announcer hits the “woooo” button everytime he makes an assist and scores! He’s like, “blah blah blah….from C…P…3…..woooo :insert noise: woooo” gotta love it. Especially if I can hear that on an average of 16 times (assists) per game! I really feel this is our year, because everyone doesn’t expect it, we are thought of as the underdogs… Little do they know, we have a huge chip on our shoulders! Let’s GOOO!

    • Stone

      October 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Haha, you know I love so much our team and the city and everything, but I HATE this “Wooooo”…it’s so boring to hear it so many times ! I’d prefer something new…

      Anyway, if CP break any record, I hope as nikkoewan said, that it’ll bring wins for the team.

    • sportnlife

      October 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      Hate the “Wooo!” HATE IT!!

      I hate the idea in general, but mostly that the announcer/ Wizard of Oz/ techie behind the curtain that wants to distract anybody watching the game from being able to think for five seconds about what’s going on on the floor, but mostly really wants to condition fans (little kids mostly, I’m guessing) to associate this particular sound effect with some particular player, like we can’t read their jersey numbers or something and need a sound effect, because we’ve all gown up with TV telling us how to live our lives and we can’t do it without some creepy focus-group tested laboratory stimulus sound effect. Like Pavlov’s dog, or something.

      So here’s the bright side of Okafor not scoring last night–there was no idiotic “OK???!!” screaming out every time he hit a shot. I’m not “OK??!!!” with “OK???!!!” (OK?). And I’m even less “OK???!!!” with “Wooo!!!” (“OK?!!??”)

    • 42

      October 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      The Wooo is from Ric Flair. He’s a massive Hornets fan from the NC days. It has been used for a while as an accent to the good play of the star du jour. Baron bore the mantle for a while, for instance.

      The Woooo doesn’t bother me at all and I love it.

      What annoys me is that they put Woooo (correct) up on the screen when they show Ric, but they but Whoooo (incorrect) up one the strip that runs in the midde of the Arena. At least make it consistent, but right and consistent would be great.

      God Bless Ric Flair!

      To be the man, you gotta beat the man!

      Thank you, Ric!

      • Hornet

        October 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm

        Ric Flair is the man.


    • pinoyballah

      October 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      its all about the homer when they opposing team turns it over… “doh doh doh doh doh doh doh..”

  6. JCS

    October 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I want to see him get 30+

    • Stone

      October 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      That’d be nearly 1 a minute. That’s an insane number imo ^^ !

    • Caleb

      October 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      Unlikely of course… but not out of the realm of possibility. Scott Skiles has the record with exactly 30.

  7. 42

    October 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, it could.

    Looking at the game from last night, it’s clear that there’s been a change. There will continue to be change, but there already been some.

    With the departure from things past comes hope, not just for us, but for Chris.

    Let’s be both frank and very specific. Chris wants to win. He isn’t satisfied with the team winning with him hobbled on the bench, and clearly not with them losing while he’s hobbled either. He wouldn’t want to in a suit on the Lakers bench and win a ring. That ring would taunt him.

    I don’t think he wants to be `the man,’ just that he wants to be an indispensable contributor to his team. Just as no tire is any more important than any other on a car, Chris wants to be on a team where he’s not carrying the load, but where no one can say he was expendable (Bosh).

    I think knowing that he has a chance to build a team like that would appeal to him on a fundamental level. I think he wants to do this his way and Dell and Monty are going to take care of his wishes.

    All the flap this summer may have been exactly what he stated: I’m open to a trade if you aren’t committed to winning. Some of that may have been fueled by his injury though, being sidelined.

    When you are sidelined, you are expendable. We were going to make the playoffs without his contributions (narrowly construed, but an emotional person might think like this) and that had to hurt someone who wants nothing other than to be healthy and to be helping. He’s good enough to be shooting guard on any team, but he’s built, inside and out, to play the point. He wants to contribute and distribute. He’s built that way. He’s unapologetic about it.

    Chris is going to break records if his team performs, no doubt, but if Chris leaves I don’t think it’ll be to a team where he or anyone else will get Boshed. He’s too classy for that.

  8. MaxALM

    October 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    One distinct thing I noticed from the game last night was all of the OFF-BALL movement! Belinelli, Ariza, Thornton were all actively trying to get open for a good look. That will drastically improve the teams ability to keep the defense off guard.

    Another great improvement in the offense is the ball movement. CP will pass it earlier in the shot clock, and if nothing is there CP will get it back, dribble around a bit and dish it again. I’ve noticed more passing the rock between players that aren’t CP as well. More decisiveness, less stagnant play = more success

    • urgmasdaughter

      October 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      Just to add to that. Another big improvement I saw last night was ball spacing. Over the last few years the offense was so stagnant that players would run to the same spot on the court then retract to create space but last night was almost picture perfect. The ball spacing is gonna be key especially because it will not only will keep defenses honest but will create driving lanes for CP, which in turn will help his apg and create those open looks for everyone else

  9. MELLO to the Big Easy!!!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I think the hornets should seriously look at packaginh Peja and some future picks to the nuggets to obtain Mello. CP3 and Mello are already great friends and could be dangerous together in the big easy with Ariza and West.

  10. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    October 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Wow I jus watched 24 hours with Chris Paul on NBATV and after watching this I am certain he is devoted to the City of New Orleans and the Hornets, He and all the Bologna from the summer is forgiven!!! CP3 woooooo! Lol

  11. cheifyoungblood

    October 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Isn’t Bologna where Belinelli’s from ? I like the whoooo , but it’s almost entirely because of Ric Flair , But heres what I think : Belinelli scores the jumbo-tron flashes and face pic of marco and goes MARCO ! at which point us the fans go POLO why is that not happening

    • TopherPrice

      October 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      I suggested that to Jim E. about 2-3 weeks ago. He loved it, was going to talk to the PA peeps. Didn’t happen.

  12. m_W

    October 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Slightly off topic, but come on, 247, CHANGE YOUR POLL! I don’t believe anyone is getting traded right now, nor do I want anyone traded. Love my Hornets. All of them. Even Joe Alexander (He has, by far, the best hair on the team.) It still reeks of the offseason and the cries to blow this team up. I agree with the optimism in this post and with most of the comments. This will be a good season (and post-season).


    • 42

      October 29, 2010 at 10:11 am

      Let’s put it to a vote! That should be our next poll: what should the poll be poll.

      • Michael McNamara

        October 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

        New poll will be up shortly and it will be centered around your predictions for CP3’s end of season assist numbers. Can’t wait to see what you guys think!

      • 42

        October 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

        That’s why more on-topic than my idea.

  13. hewhorocks

    October 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    See you there tonight!

  14. TheDonors

    October 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Who really cares about records? What is important is ball movement. If that results in a statistical assist for Paul or not doesn’t make any difference. Sometimes the most important pass is not the assist itself, but the pass that sets up the assist. CP had 16 on opening night and everybody is saying that he was only 3 off Stockton’s opening night record. Well what about the fact that Rajon Rondo had 17 on opening night against the Heat? I love CP and I love the Hornets. I don’t care if we have anybody at the top of any statistical category at all. That’s not what basketball is about. I want the team to play smart and with passion. I want to feel about the team the way I felt in ’08. We look good with Monty’s offense and the new personnel. The statistical categories that mean the most to me are the ones pertaining to team defense. I think we looked great defensively against Milwaukee the other night. I saw a lot of comments on the other post slamming Okafor. If you know anything about basketball you know that Mek had a good defensive game.

    As far as the “Wooooo”, it’s tired. We wear everything out. Same with the Peja heads. In ’08 it was cool because it was something new that was brought out for the playoffs. I was disappointed the next season when we were doing it for every game. Things like that should be reserved for what should be emotional high points late in the season or in the playoffs. That kind of ‘trying to hard’ is what was so disappointing in the ’09 season. Everybody thought that it was going to be a continuation of the playoffs. Well it doesn’t work that way. New Orleans gets a little too overexcited every time we have the smallest taste of success. We should reign it in a bit. Just my opinion.

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