Trends: Paul limped into All-Star break

The Hornets point guard has struggled mightily in his past five games

Updated: February 21, 2011, 11:12 AM ET
By Kevin Pelton | Basketball Prospectus
Chris PaulChris Graythen/Getty ImagesChris Paul had a tough stretch heading into the All-Star break.

Each Monday throughout the NBA season, ESPN Insider will investigate the latest trends in the league. Basketball Prospectus' Kevin Pelton is keeping an eye on all the numbers and will have a first look at how players, teams and the league as a whole are evolving.

Trending player: Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets

The Western Conference's starting point guard entered the All-Star break playing at something less than his typically high level of play. In the month of February, Paul's per-game averages have dropped to 14.0 points and 9.0 assists, while his shooting percentage has sunk to 42.6 percent. That can be traced almost entirely to the past five games, which have been Paul's worst stretch of the season by an enormous margin. In terms of John Hollinger's Game Score, it's the first time all season that Paul has been below a total of 60 over a five-game span. Paul's past five games haven't come close to that total.

To read how Paul has been struggling heading into the All-Star break, plus why the Bulls have thrived without Joakim Noah and how the All-Star Game itself can be a harbinger of other NBA events, you must be an ESPN Insider.