I'm not worried about CP being aggressive. I'm worried that he doesn't get injured again. I was worried before that he might be having some issues with his knee because of hesitation and lack of energy. But I'm seeing now that he's OK. He's GETTING a little more pep in his step. And that surgery he had guys... Thats NOT easy to come back from and be the same from. It WILL take him time. We need to be more patient with him. I think our questions towards CP should be "Is he FULLY recovered from Surgery?" And "Does he have any pain while he's playing?". I've been seeing much less hesitation from him since the Utah game and am very happy with that. Give him some more time, and his numbers WILL go up. Not a lot. We won't see 20 and 11 this season. But I expect him to be around 17pts, 13asts, 5rbs, and 3.5stls when season ends. We SHOULDN'T have lost last night. Simple as that. NY is a mediocre team, and we had the talent to beat them even without DWest. But consider this guys. We were 3-14 on three's last night. We lost by 8. We usually knock down about 40% of our threes. So if we HAD shot 40%, we would have made 3 more three's. Meaning we win by 1 when you add 9 points, but also when you consider that there would have been far less long rebounds, and fast break opportunities for NY to run. And those 3's probably would have come off of CP's assists as well, meaning he would have had 13 assists rather than 10. And 17 and 13 sounds EXACTLY like what I said we'll be seeing from him by seasons end. I think our issues right now need to be focusing on improving the roster more so that Monty doesn't have the opportunity to play small ball anymore. Getting Trevor and Belinelli were great moves for us because it brought length and athleticism. But we need more of that. We DON'T have a back up SF, and thats why Monty plays 3 guards. We're basically showcasing Thornton so that teams see he can still play and last season wasn't a fluke. I know a lot of you guys are Marcus Thornton fans, but I really think we need to brace ourselves to prepare for him leaving. He and Green are both 6'4, small for 2 guard in the NBA nowadays. And since Monty is such a fan of Green's, I just DON'T see us trading him. And I DON'T see us trading Bellineli either. I CAN see us getting someone to replace him in the starting lineup (Iggy/Captain Jack/Mayo/Martin Nocioni/Chandler), and bring Marco off the bench as a back up 2/3. But to trade him and still have Marcus and Green off the bench as small SG's just seems unrealistic to me. And as for our bigs. It's getting tough to watch now. This HAS to be our next move. It's getting ridiculous. I honestly LIKE Mbenga and Gray a lot, but if we're not going to play them, then we need to find a guy we WILL play. We need 1 more guy. It can't be a 3 man rotation of West, Okafor, Smith. THOSE GUYS AREN'T GASOL, ODOM, AND BYNUM. They're not good enough to JUST play those 3 bigs. We need one more guy who can be a banger down low and play physical. And since I know its going to take a long time to integrate that guy (Mohammad/Turaif/Dalembert/Beindrins) into our system, if there is ANY way to find them sooner than later, then I think we should make THAT move separately, and NOW. DWest is going to miss games. We all know he will. And when he does, we'll be in a really tough situation. I'd really like to avoid that situation altogether and find someone who will help us look like a sub .500 squad like last season.
« Knicks Continue their Domination over the Hornets
Chris Paul Becoming more Aggressive is not the Answer
There is a common fear building amongst Hornets fans and it concerns the best player in franchise history. Now that losing has become a part of the Hornets reality again and the days of sitting atop of the NBA standings seem like a distant memory, fans want to know why victories are suddenly so hard to come by. I have seen Monty get some of the blame, Okafor parts of it, and even the Peja trade cited as a reason for the swoon. Overwhelmingly, however, the tendency seems to be that fans look at the team’s leader Chris Paul and put these losses on him due to his lack of aggressiveness. Heck, CP3 even put it on himself in his recent comments. While I tend to agree that Chris Paul being more aggressive would lead to more wins, I also contend that this solution is very short sighted.
Nothing is more frustrating to a parent than trying to impart some knowledge to their child, with little to no success. Their little boy or girl comes home with a handful of assignments and the caring parent sits down at the table to go through all of it; to answer any questions that need to be answered. Several hours pass and the child still can not seem to grasp some of the more complex principals of their homework and now the parent is left with a choice: Do I just tell my child the answers and hope that a lightbulb goes off down the line or do I keep plugging away even though I have no assurances that they will ever get this?
This is the situation the Hornets are in currently, and I can understand the fans frustrations with the piling up of losses when it seems like Chris Paul has the “answers” that could lead to wins. He could just take over games, as he is clearly the most talented offensive force on the court and seems to score at will when he really makes his mind up to do so. The question is- Can this team win a title with him playing that role?
It is well documented that there has not been a team to win a title with a point guard as its best player since Isiah Thomas led the Pistons to back to back titles twenty years ago. However, several have come close since then, and to be fair, no team with a small forward as their best player has won a title since the Celtics in ’85-’86, but does mean LeBron or Durant will never win one?
Several point guards have gotten close as either the #1 or #1A guy on their squad and they have done so by being facilitators, not primary scorers. During Utah’s back to back run to the NBA Finals, John Stockton averaged less than ten shots per game over the course of those two seasons. Jason Kidd made a similar run with the Nets in which he was the team’s best player and he only averaged 13 shots per game on a faster paced New Jersey team.
If it weren’t for Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, it can be argued that Steve Nash would have at least two NBA Finals appearances by now, and perhaps even three or four. A two-time league MVP, there is no question that Nash was the best player on his Phoenix teams, and despite that, he has never averaged more than 13 shots per game.
Magic Johnson is the gold standard for point guards in the annals of NBA history. Many consider the ’84-’85 Lakers the best of all his championship teams, and perhaps the greatest Lakers team of All-Time. That team averaged over 118 PPG and played at a run and gun NBA pace, and despite all of that, the great Magic Johnson took less than 12 shots per game despite being the best player in the NBA at the prime of his career.
The lesson here is that point guard can lead a team to an NBA Finals, he can lead them to championships, or even a dynasty. But the model for any of those things include an extremely talented supporting cast that allows the playmaker to do what he does best without having to carry the extra burden of scoring. In the franchise’s best season, Chris Paul did it all, as he was both a playmaker and a scorer. He averaged over 16 shots per game (compared to just over 10 this season), but in game 7 the Spurs showed that our offense was just fool’s gold. They stuck to Peja, prevented the lob, and demanded that Chris Paul (and Janerro Pargo) beat them. The Hornets had been giving their children the answers to the homework questions all season long, so when the test came- they failed.
If the Hornets are to build a championship team, it will be with Paul in a role much closer to the one we have seen this year than the one we witnessed in ’07-’08. While that is frustrating right now due to the Hornets lack of surrounding talent, it is what is best for the team long term. If Chris Paul were to continue to just mask the deficiencies for another year or two, no major changes would be deemed necessary to be made, and when you are honest with yourself about the talent on this team, you would see that is a huge mistake.
This part is always hard, and it is so easy to take shortcuts when the bad resultsÂ pile up, but think about what that does for the future. Am I referring to the Hornets or the parent? Does it matter?
"Jason Kidd made a similar run with the Nets in which he was the teamâ€™s best player and he only averaged 13 shots per game on a faster paced New Jersey team." NJ was never a serious threat to win the championship. They had a few good years in the weak post-Chicago/ Detroit/ Knicks-era East, and the fact that JKidd WAS their best player was part of the reason why. Playing with Dallas, Kidd has spectacularly underwhelmed (yeah, he's older, but so's Nash) with a much, much more talented squad in Dallas, including the playoffs in '08 when CP3 chewed him up in prime time. So, not the best example because JKidd is no real offensive threat the way that CP3 is. Let's take a better example: "If it werenâ€™t for Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, it can be argued that Steve Nash would have at least two NBA Finals appearances by now, and perhaps even three or four. A two-time league MVP, there is no question that Nash was the best player on his Phoenix teams, and despite that, he has never averaged more than 13 shots per game." Agree totally. Fate, in the form of a Mark Cuban brainfart and the perennial Pop bball factory kept Nash out of the winner's circle. The difference? Nash can score from anywhere (although he can't defend a lick). So he's a better comparison for CP3's skill set, but check out his game: The guy can go on scoring tears of 10-20 points when he sees that his team needs him to. Playing on teams with worse defenses than the Hornets meant that the THREAT of him ripping off a barrage of 3s and layups made his teammates more effective than their actual talent levels because they had so many more open shots after he had broken down the defense. Offensive stagnation was never a liability for Nash-led teams. It had more to do with defensive deficiencies and bad luck. (Nash--a 21st Century tragic hero of basketball.) He averaged 13 shots a game, 3 more than Paul's current pace, and did no actual HARM by simply taking the team on his back at the critical moments of games. (I refer one and all to CP3's 4th quarter against the Spurs, when he took over and made all of the plays, leaving a trail of broken ankles in his wake.) Just be that guy, Chris, when it counts, is all.
Monty Williams on David West and his stomach virus.... "I'm just not going to put a guy on the floor if he's not right," Williams said. "I just don't believe in that. I don't do it. Guys have to be right, or at least close to being right, before they're on the floor." Does this go for all of Monty's players? Hasn't someone told him that CP3 isn't right or not even close to being right? Somebody better tell Monty.
I don't think fans are asking him to be the 24-12 post-all star break guy that dragged the Hornets into the playoffs in 2009. But there needs to be a happy medium. Consistently only scoring 4-5 points in the 2nd half isn't a recipe for success. In the last 9 games, he's barely even a threat to score down the stretch. I trust that he'll eventually find that medium, but he most certainly needs to be more aggressive. You can make the 'giving your kids the answers' analogy with every other star in the league.
this is a little off topic... i am thinking about flying down from NY with 2 friends for the 17th Utah game... where can i get good floor seats at a good price? stubhub, craigslist or somewhere else? thanks!
Please don't listen to this retard regarding anything Hornets' related. At the very least, give the Hornets a call and see if they can help you out. They tend to work with you and you will avoid paying massive amounts of fees on StubHub. The ticket reps try their hardest to take care of their clients. I would give them a shot. Besides, for comparison's sake, let's say the prices/where you're sitting are exactly the same, you would be supporting the Hornets. @QueenBee - You are counter-productive to everything good about this board and the Hornets.
Last time I checked CP3 was a point guard, a true point guard. If some fans want him to do EVERYTHING go watch LeBron during his Cleveland days. Come on now, we all seen how far he got when he had to EVERYTHING for his team. Bron didn't get a ring! Teams win championships. People want to compare teams now versus ones 20 years ago, that makes no sense, the NBA is different now. Think about the last 10 teams to win; Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heats and Pistons. Other than the Heat, can you really say it didn't take the WHOLE team to win the championship? Even when the heat won, Wade had Shaq who was still in his "prime". One man teams don't win championships in the NBA today, bottom line. Should CP3 shoot more? Heck if I know, I'm not a coach. A true point guard can only be as great as his team allows him to be. If they can't make shoots, then teams will defend him more. I'm not a expert at basketball, I'm purely a fan. But I just can't see what's all the bashing about. Aren't point guards like quarterbacks? There's job is to run the team, not be the WHOLE team. Not like they can pass to themselves. To sum up my frustration, when the team loses, it's the entire team's fault. Everyone on that team including the coach plays a role. I'm hoping the Hornets get better as a team, as the season goes go. Go Hornets!
Point of order. Chris Paul is right now is the outstanding play-maker he was in 2007-08 http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/paulch01.html. His assist per min played is almost identical, his rebounds per min are higher. His steals higher, his 3's made higher. Whats lower? Min played and FG% and points. So the issue isnt his play-making, its shot selection. Its also important to remember that we are talking about the most efficient player in the game. Simply put Paul is not the problem. The Hornets are under-preforming at the 2&3 positions. Ariza is worth about 3 less points that he relinquishes thus far this year,Marco 8. Some allowance can be made for team D but the fact remains that the 1,4&5 need to make up that. Okafor (like it or not ) is covering a lot of that ground thus far but that Puts Paul and West to makeup the difference which works against a lot of teams but 5 +6 players leaves a lot of ground to cover and as we've seen most recently when one is out or has a poor game the Hornets are in trouble. ((Ortg and Drtg stats used in this assessment courtesy of basket-ball reference.com)
I'm mostly with you. Paul's on the court play isn't the problem (except for when the problem is that Paul is not playing enough minutes or scoring enough points to cover the shortcomings of the other guys on the court) I would say that the team is underperforming at the 3. Ariza is not a good scorer but at his position, he is right around West level in overall contribution at position (West being a much better scorer). Of the starting five I agree that Okafor and Paul are the best by far as overall players, with Ariza and West as slightly above average and Belinelli below average. I would say that improvement needs to come from a Demps move really rather than anything Paul does on the court.
"Whats lower? Min played and FG% and points." I think his fg% right now is slightly higher or just about even with his 07-08 season. It's only been 1 qtr of the season but he's not really lower.
Being a champion is about defying everyone who tells you you can't do it. It's about that combination of skill and determination that is as unrelenting as it is efficacious. It's what drove Michael. It's what drives Kobe. I believe, it's what everyone has always told Chris: you're too small, you're too slow, your shot's not good enough. But he, along with the rest of the Hornets, showed in 2007-08 that they can be greatly successful. In flashes since, they've showed the same. And now, in the first 12 games of the season, they have again shown that it can still be done. As such, I completely disagree with this article. The best team will win, regardless of who the team's best player is. That said, there is a reason the distinctions of point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center exist: aggregately, they supply the best variety of skills requisite to winning. And in that, Monty's mad refusal to play Gray at the 5 (and giving even Mbenga only sparing minutes), and tonight's decision to match NY's bizarre line-ups, rather than playing your only 4 on the roster, is a mistake. As is his dogged determination to play three guards, with Green at the 3 in certain circumstances, rather than inserting Pondexter at the 3 (now that Peja is gone). So primarily, I blame Monty for playing the wrong line-ups. But beyond that, there is absolutely no reason why Chris Paul, a top 5 player in this League, should not dominate and carry this team to victory, night after night.
FINALLY! I have to pinch myself. All I EVER read about with the Hornets seems to be based in some strange NBA world I have never seen, at least be successful. I have shouted from the hilltop that this is the NBA. You can get away with planning all you want, but like in battle, once the first shot rings out it's all about reaction. Coach Williams seems hell bent on staying with whatever plan he first sat down with. And I have warned against winning regular season games vs playoff games. Winning enough to get into the playoffs is a trick to get your fans to think you did well. But to NOT get past the second round is to me a flat out failure. You will NEVER win without a power game up and in the middle. So talk all ye cool-aid drunk fans. If MBenga is coach's idea of a strong middle, the end is nearer than you think. The Lakers are still in wonder as to our taking somebody they tried like hell to keep OFF the court. We not only need to get Gray going, but he needs to see time with Okafor on the floor. This is madness.
I do, however, agree that Chris becoming more aggressive is not the answer. Belinelli playing with the second unit and starting a certain LSU prospect would be a nice start to finding out what we have and lending consistency to our lineups.
To base your argument on Magic Johnson vs. Chris Paul is so ridiculously unfair it's not even funny. You're using a label to your advantage. Scottie Pippen wasn't termed a point guard, but he ran the offense for the two Bulls' three-peats. The guy was 6' 9'' and one-of-a-kind. What a luxury to have that supporting cast and the tiniest guy on the floor for you is 6' 6'' or 6' 7''. Besides, Magic also won championships scoring at clips of 20 and 22 PPG in the playoffs. Well, going by this article's main points, Chris Paul is expendable as we will not win a championship building a team around him. We've seen small markets can not attract two top-10 players nowadays. If we can't do it with 1 and a legitimate supporting cast, we are cooked. Either we find him a top-10 superstar to play him with or we have no shot at winning in the playoffs? That doesn't seem like a top 5 in the world player to me. Isn't Chris Paul supposed to be the best PG under 6' 3'' ever? To handcuff him to a position that has lacked superstar quality impact players recently is not fair under that notion. Just because their has not been a PG that dominates games to win a title, it does not mean that it can not happen. In fact, the best PG's to win a championship in the last 20 years have been Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups, neither of which are world beaters. I don't see what the difference between Dwayne Wade going off against Dallas and Chris Paul going off against Dallas is. Both players dominated a series and carried their team. Gary Payton brought a decent supporting cast to the finals by himself. So did Allen Iverson with an even crappier supporting cast. Bottom line - Throw out Magic Johnson, a 6' 9'' freak that got termed PG and so CP3 gets compared to him. What does that leave you with? 1 legitimate amazing PG that won a championship in the last 30 years and he played with a starting lineup that was out of this world and quite possibly the most BAD ASS TEAM ever in the history of the NBA. So, really, it's not even worth building the team around Chris at all as he's 6 feet and we are not going to find the Bad Boys in this era of coddling. Time to find the next. The real bottom line - SORRY! If Dwayne Wade can do it, Chris can. You need 1 player that is able to carry a team on his back through thick and thin and they aren't easy as find. Chris Paul has the potential to be the best and most important player in the NBA. He needs to be that player. He is one of a kind at his position. He is the best player under 6' 3'' to ever play the game. He defies history because he is history.
Wade did it with Shaq, Magic had a great cast, including the greatest of all time. I think Chris has the juice and he has to run the system to win. We have parts that don't fit the system, clearly. Some are surprises, some are not. We also have parts that fit. Some are surprises, some are not. We have to expose the reality, for lack of a better term, so we can address the causes, not effects. This is what I got from the article. You are raising some good points, and I think your last paragraph basically agrees with me. Also, I think Paul's scoring would increase in the playoffs. These regular season games are just `heat races' leading up to `the main', to invoke racing terminology. If you are a NASCAR guy, think Jimmie Johnson / Chad Knaus.
I wouldn't mind Chris delivering a `remember me' minute per quarter, to invoke the other Coach Williams' lingo. Not one little bit. Good call. There's some thing to be said for leading by example, keeping sharp, keeping the bad guys with one eye on you a la Reggie Bush. Anyone notice that the Saints offense picked up right when we got into the window for Reggie to return, though he didn't. Dude chewed up a good deal of defensive chalk just on earned reputation. Him being held to `normal numbers' is what causes the offense to be number 1 in the league. But, yeah, make all that about Chris . . .
Also, there is a difference between scoring 30 a game and CP3 saying "Screw it, they need me right now." I don't think most of us are asking him to try to drop 30, we just want him to kill these runs when the team needs him to and occasionally carry the scoring load when it is just not working on some nights.
Paul was terribly passive and disinterested last night, as was the team. They seemed to just be going through the motions. Were they aware of the Schouest deal falling through and the possible NBA purchase and really weren't into it? Just wondering. I understand Paul should be a facilitator, but when he's only taken 5 shots with six minutes left in the 4th quarter, and its obvious for some time that your team's struggling in the game, where was the fire and competitiveness from CP3? I didn't see it.
Great article! You are dead on it, with this one. True basketball fans who have played the game knows exactly what you're talking about. Great work!
You said it, not me. But I do tend to agree- although I think fans can become extremely educated about the game even if they have never played on any level, there is a different (not better) reality to the game when you have lived the game day in and day out by playing. You understand the subtle differences between good, great, and elite and thos things are rarely quantified JUST in stats. You can see that at points in the game CP3 just realizes his teammates dont have it in them that night to win without him masking their dificiencies and he steps it up. At the beginning of the season we won because we weren't that far behind and honestly teams werent playing us as tough. Now, it is not enough. I 100% believe he could be Cleveland LeBron for this team if he wanted to- mask all the problems and take over to the point where the team wins 52-62 games, but come playoff time they would just fall on their face. This is the CP3 that will be the CP3 that wins a title once he gets the right talent around him. I am just hoping that is with the Hornets (and in NOLA).
I understand the point you're trying to make and it's a cute metaphor but it seems to be predicated on the fact that Chris Paul is still entirely capable of being that crazy dynamic playmaker he was a couple of seasons ago. Obviously I'm going to immediately get typecast here as being "omg CP's knee is about to explode might as well just trade him for Jameer Nelson lolz" guy by the usual suspects, which is to be expected. I mean it's either "he's perfectly fine" or "guy's done - get a 2nd rounded while you can", right? No middle ground to be found. I still think that CP3 in his current form is one of the best point guards in the league and the stats that a lot of people have been using regarding efficiency, etc definitely bear that out. He's playing well and within himself. But the way our team is constructed assumes that the guy wearing the "3" jersey is a ****ing superstar. If he isn't able to literally do almost anything on the court he want to do, there's no one else to create. They have to be spoonfed - and as we've seen numerous times, especially as of late, many times even that isn't enough as we have, collectively speaking, one of the poorest finishing teams around the rim that I can ever remember watching in my life. But I digress. Back to reminiscing. Remember when we'd watch games before and the opposing team's commentator's would opine, "Chris Paul just gets to whatever spot on the floor he wants and there's just not much you can do to keep him out of the paint". That was a little bit of hyperbole, but only just barely. Teams are keeping him out of the paint quite easily now and not always by running two guys at him or by sticking defenders of Dahntay Jones' caliber on him. Hedging out too hard on a high screen used to be a joke to Chris Paul. Bam! Double team split and I'm in the lane. Where is this? Playing up tight on ball defense against CP twenty five feet from the basket just didn't used to be an option. Too dangerous. If it's true that it's a purposeful withholding of Paul's capabilities then I realize that much of what I said plays right into your point, Michael. And that's fine. It's just that where you seem fairly certain that if Paul feels froggy he can explode whereas I worry (not hope - don't get me wrong) that's this just isn't the case. Keep in mind this is all just pretty much one long stream of consciousness and it's possible that I'm oversimplifying things. But I'm just very much a see-and-believe guy. I'd like to see Chris Paul dominate a game once every now and then only the way a superstar can to convince me that he's still got it. Not just some of it, but all of it.
Without a big inside game. Without a center big enough to stop drives. Without a center large enough to block out. Without a center able to form walls to shoot from behind. Without a center with SOME scoring skills. You don't win in the long run. Aaron Gray needs to play more than once. This new style of bringing large centers out to then flop around trying to get back is OK if you are lucky enough to find a freak of nature. This is a rare bread, not very often found. Otherwise you eventually end up with hurt big men, small PF playing center position...and you get tossed out in the first round of the play-offs.
I think one could make the argument that Kobe is a small forward. Jordan and Pippen won a lot. Pierce is a hall of famer. But I agree that PG led teams don't win championships. I guess I'm still in the big man camp, the Bulls and Wallace brothers being the exceptions. Do you have stats about when Parker and Billups won finals MVPs? Did they shoot a lot? I agree about your main point. Watching the "passive" CP3, I wonder if he and Monty are trying to get the team to not depend on Paul taking over the scoring. That makes sense for the long term, but there's one problem: The best team experience would be for this team to play in the playoffs. That's not going to happen if the Hornets lose to marginal eastern teams at home. If Paul came in at the beginning of the fourth last night, took over and got the win, those three quarters of letting the team gel would have been worth it. Whether it's your championship formula or not, the team is built around Paul and Paul's scoring. Especially with West out, last night would have been the perfect time to let CP3 get the win by himself. There will be nights to let the rest of the team get theirs. But there are times when it's important to get the win.
If that's the case and Monty really wants to limit Chris in order to force others produce then it seems counterproductive for Chris to be dribbling around for most of the shot clock without anyone else touching the ball.
I agree that the Lakers losing to the Pacers at home is less worrisome than our loss to the Knicks. The reason I feel that way is the Lakers core and many role players are the same as it's been in recent memory, they are missing a piece of that core that they expect to get back with plenty of time to be comfortable in the playoffs, and other team members are playing excessive minutes. We do not have the continuity of the Lakers, historical performance aside. We were missing a piece we expect to get back, however, that would have played right at our two main deficiencies last night: taking something off of Amare's game and turnovers (D and Chris is the most comfortable connection). So I agree, but for different reasons, and I think my worry-difference is smaller than yours.
We know what the Lakers are capable of. We've seen one successful Chris Paul season, with a different team, and a different coach. And I'm not saying that the season is over just because of one bad loss. But adjustments have to be made. I think the passive-aggressive CP3 argument is about Monty's comment recently regarding using the first 20-25 games to "get better." I assume that means not worrying too much about wins, and instead focusing on strategy, getting to know roles, analyzing weaknesses, team building, and that sort of thing. Maybe even not really worrying about the record until after the trade deadline. If last night was about players learning to play without Paul and West, and players getting used to perimeter passing Paul, and Emeka practicing one-on-one defense against a great scorer, fine, I guess.
I don't think the actual Knicks are a marginal team at the moment. Stoudemire was unstoppable, and that mismatch changed the game badly.
I have a question? If you've watched the hornets this year, and if you've read this article then you know quite obviously that Paul is being more passive. How much do you think this sudden urge to be passive on his shot taking is due because of that knee brace? or do you even think that is a deciding factor? We have yet to see him play without it on, so it may truly be a effecting his game.
I hope my other comment makes it on here (wasn't logged in), but in short: Paul needs to be more aggressive in creating shots for others. That's where his aggression can improve. He's not attacking the hoop at all. Sure that means more shots for him sometimes, but it also means the defense collapsing on him leaving other guys open. He used to do that but he hasn't been so far this season.
Here's my take on it: it's not so much that Paul needs to get more aggressive from a point scoring standpoint. He needs to be more aggressive attacking the hoop to create shots for other players. Belinelli and Ariza are useless offensively in the 4th quarter because Paul is dribbling around at the top of the key in the fourth quarter before passing the ball off. That's instead of attacking the hoop, forcing the interior defense to collapse, leaving open men on the perimeter. That's what Chris Paul used to do. I contend that the biggest problem has been 4th quarter offense during this bad stretch. Teams tighten up defensively, and the Hornets have been struggling mightily to score down the stretch. That's on your point guard for failing to get either himself, or other players good looks at a shot. I want Paul to be more aggressive from a scoring standpoint, but most importantly I want him to be more aggressive for everyone else on the team to get better looks. He's not driving to the hole at all. When he does, he's clearly lost a step because people are staying with him. He's getting blown by off the dribble defensively more than I've ever seen. Either it's mental, and he's just not ready to take a beating in the paint, or there's something wrong. I question if his knee is 100%.