This is for 42… and QueenBee too!

By:
Published: November 30, 2010

Ok…

So I’ve been getting ROASTED by Mr. Moderator, 42, and Ms. Queen Bee, QueenBee for saying that CP3 hasn’t looked the same to me ever since I saw him tweak his knee at the end of the Houston Rockets game. 

I have PERSONALLY felt that he has been tentative for a long stretch of games. I feel like he is scared to attack the basket as much as we are used to seeing him do so, and I feel like its because he is having a mental block because he is scared of getting hurt again. 

And since 42 asked me to run some statistics to try and prove my point, I thought, “Why not”. =)

Anywho, so I decided to pick certain statistics that would be effected if CP were to have a “mental block” that is effecting his game. For instance, assists wouldn’t really take much of an effect if he had such a “mental block” because it would make sense that he would choose to pass the ball rather than to take a shot. But I still wanted to record them because I wanted to also analyze his assist to turnover ratio. 

 

Chris Paul in his first 4 games:

 

POINTS: 21.25

ASSISTS: 9

TURNOVERS: 1.25

REBOUNDS: 6.25

FT ATTEMPTS:  7.75

FG ATTEMPTS: 13

FG %: 52%

 

Chris Paul in the 13 games after “Tweaking” his knee:

 

POINTS: 15.1

ASSISTS: 10.7

TURNOVERS: 2.8

REBOUNDS:  4.2

FT ATTEMPTS:  3.8

FG ATTEMPTS: 10.9

FG %:  48%

 

So when you look at Chris Paul in the first 4 games compared to the games since, you can see a drastic change in every category. He is averaging 6 fewer points a game, on a lower shooting percentage, and on few shot attempts. His assists are higher, but at a cost because of his turnover ratio. His rebounds are down because he is tentative at slashing inside and grabbing boards amongst bigger, stronger defenders, and his FT attempts are down almost 3 shot attempts. 

I know these numbers are somewhat minuscule to some, but for his career, CP is averaging 19.2 points, 10 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. And he is at a point in his career where his numbers should be rising even higher because he is on the cusp of hitting his prime (I think NBA Players Primes are between 25-31 years old) and because he has a team thats even deeper than his 08 squad that won 56 games. 

I’m not blaming CP. He’s my favorite player in the world and I’m amazed with his brilliance and tenacity on the court. But I KNOW that there was hesitation in his play for a long stretch of games, and that is a big reason for the losses we’ve had. Again, I’m not blaming him, but he’s THAT good, that a few different plays in those games would have made all the difference.

I think he’s finally starting to go away from that hesitation. But I think as fans we should be aware of it. We all have gotten a taste of how great this team can be this season (especially if Demps can strike gold with a few more moves), and I’ve seen a lot of frustration in the comments about the team. But…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to stand behind our superstar. Understand that something could be wrong, and God forbid we see anything happen to him like what happened to him last season. Every game counts, but its a long season, and we got 65 more to go…

 

This post was submitted by AgentZiko.

11 comments
hewhorocks
hewhorocks

None shall invoke Stats without me taking notice: Apples to apples please. 4 games is a small sample size; comparing that to a larger sample shows the where on the curve the particular 4 game performance would be but is not relevant for setting a standard of play. Graph Chris Paul's performances and you see something interesting (I'd post my chart if I could figure out how lol) Chris Paul had his worst game when he played the Clippers on Nov 9. Yep the 19 point blow out was Paul's least efficient game. His second best was in the rematch with the Blazers on November 26. Taken in isolation we could look for causes of these variances in performance however its worthwhile to note that as sample size increases performance approaches the norm. After this Houston "Tweaking" Paul's performance against the heat was only 13 points and 19 assists (3 turnovers) oh and 5 steals? November 15 through the 26 was his longest stretch of "Above average" games. The 6th,9th and 13th his longest stretch of "below average" games. (averages for him.) The back of a double double to start things off...hmmm. Compare Chris Paul's performance for the ten games after the "Tweaking" against his Carreer Per 36 min (he is playing less min by design and so per min played numbers are a better indication of play) and we find that his Steals, Assists, and rebounding are up and his scoring is down. As the police say "nothing to see here folks...move along." http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/paulch01.html

42
42

So in summary: Chris' knee - 1, Chris' knee doubters - 0? I see what you see, dude. I hope you continue to work on the numbers more, Ziko. The only way to learn this stuff is to do this stuff, and it isn't easy. You showed great courage and effort in pulling those numbers together. It's easy to sit and observe, but marrying those with some facts and making it sensible is tough. I'd really continue to dig and either reproduce what hewho did or some up with some extra info. By the way, assists up and scoring down works for me. That's just smart.

peronas
peronas

Interesting points AgentZiko, I'd be interestied to see how the numbers of the surrounding cast wavered during these stretches when you guys dig into this further. Some of Paul's changes in numbers and the way he approaches a game could be a result of actually working within an ever developing system and trying to find the right balance of CP taking over games versus spreading the load amongst the supporting cast. i.e. Monty doesn't want to fall into the trend of four guys staring at CP while he tries to make something happen. It's still early in the season and given the complete overhaul of the team theres gonna be some kinks in getting everyone to fulfill their roles. I know in some of these games a lot of attention has been paid to getting the supporting cast going, maybe too much so at times so that when we would normally see CP take over he's out of his flow since he hasn't been tasked with putting points on the board. Other games like the Thunder, CP has come out of the gates attacking early but then they seemed to go away from that in favor of long jumpers. :( All this could also be a conscious "mental block", CPs always been a smart player he could easily be purposefully being cautious, not necessarily because something is wrong but because he knows the season is long and it's better to conserve himself for down the stretch. No sense recklessly getting banged up in November, especially since he has also seen very positive things from his teammates that show that they can win games without him having to be reckless. Unfortunately in the losses the supporting cast and the team defense has been a let down, to the point that even CP's magic likely wouldn't be able to overcome, I'm eying you Utah game :( Anyways, good post! I look forward to seeing what you guys dig up further on this!

QueenBee
QueenBee

That's nice work. Although it's late and I haven't really looked over every single word but I had to come in and say I don't remember 'roasting' you. All I ever said was some act as though Chris Paul is out there limping down the court when in fact he isn't. When someone has a different opinion it doesn't necessarily mean you were 'roasted'.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

So I used some "dramatization" to get my point across, QueenBee. Sue me. =)

42
42

Thanks for doing this, Ziko. You may have interpreted my comments as a big `no way is he hurt', but they were a `I don't see that whether it's true or not.' This data makes me think there's a question here. It may be a simple one, it may not be. If you don't mind, I'd like to delve a little deeper into the 13 games after the first 4 since they involve losses, where the first 4 were all wins. And I mean do this with you. We can make a nice analysis out of this. If we do a good job, maybe papa bear will make it a post . . . and it could go up to ESPN . . . and it could be used by folks like Chris Broussard to make some point. But that's a big if. We need to clear up some `buts'. We have to look at playing time if you are going to look at just the raw numbers, right? If his PT is down, then one would expect some declines. Also, about assists: I think you actually sold yourself a little short on your analysis here. If I were a point guard who felt a little queasy about taking it to the rim, I'd pass more, so my assists would go up, which is what you see here. As I said, however, we need to cut this up a little more to see if the point is truly made when we account for the `buts'. If it stands up, it'll be a stronger argument. Two further points: He was on the bike in Houston before the `tweak' right? If so, the bike was there before that incident and was not there because of it. It may be around now because of it, but it also may not be. And, I'll be at the Arena tomorrow. What would you like to me look for with my binoculars regarding this point?

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

By the way, as for the bike... I think thats part of rehabilitation. If he's going to play, he NEEDs to keep the muscles moving, and keep it warm. It's something that my doctors/chiropractors/physical trainers all recommended to me as well when I got hurt, because it was an easy way to cause more damage when something isn't fully healed. I'm wondering if thats Chris' case? As for things to watch for tomorrow. If you see any plays where CP gets banged around or hits the floor, watch what he does on offense the very next play. Many times now when I've seen things get physical when he gets involved, the next offensive possession, he DOESN'T bring the ball up. and goes to the corner, and waives his teammates off from passing him the ball, forcing them to create. And sometimes, he puts his hands on his knees/hips and looks like he's resting. Thats a RED FLAG to me. It tells me he needs time to recover either physically or mentally.

42
42

It isn't the same thing, but an ACL needs about 9 months to get back going and about 12 for the person to be really comfortable. It takes about 24 months for an athlete to be back in their form as if the injury didn't occur. It's connective tissue in the knee, but far more delicate, the ACL. Cut that in half, place it at the point of the surgery, and Chis is fine in the Spring. Why half? I made it up since the ACL is more delicate. My point is I'm sure he's rehabbing and he's selling how great he is feeling. He'll be fine come the playoffs. He could take a lesson from Jim Brown, one of the greatest in NFL history, and the greatest Brown. He said he gets up slow after every hit so they don't know which one hurt you. He should be selling that he's hurt, not the other way around. Tom Brady was probably on every injury report for a few years. What a joke, but it had an effect. The games we play within the games we play . . .

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

42, I'm down. I'd love to work further into this article. But again, since the Utah game, I have seen some improvement from CP, and he has attacked more (just not in the 4th quarter). But I do agree that this can be a better article (I did it in a span of 30 minutes when I got home from work), especially if we put in all your great input, and if we continue to see his numbers drop and the team keeps losing (which I hope we don't).

Go Blue
Go Blue

I have been wondering myself if something was going on with CP3. First half of games he's so aggressive and passive the 2nd half. I been wanting him to attack the rim more and be more of the CP3 we all are use to. But when he went flying out of bounds last game, I had a mini heart attack. There could be many factors that attribute to his recent performances; mental block (as you stated), coaching, teams defending him more and etc. Maybe he's tired in 2nd halves of games, because he was busy rehabbing his knee all summer, his endurance could be down. Either way thanks for going out your way to research that info. ^_^ Go Hornets!!

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

Oh man Go Blue.... My freaking heart STOPPED when he went down and stayed down for a few seconds! I was terrified! LoL.