- Tom Haberstroh
So, what do we do with Chris Paul's career so far?
Let's take a look at his résumé.
• Nine brilliant regular seasons at point guard. Seven All-Star appearances. Finished top-5 in MVP voting four times and top-10 five times.
• Led the league in assist rate four times. Is one of three players to average at least 18 points, nine assists and four rebounds in his career (Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson are the other two).
• Named to five All-Defensive teams and a sixth likely on the way. Has led the NBA in steals per game six times.
• Owns the second-highest career player efficiency rating (25.6) among active players behind LeBron James. Ranks No.1 in career win shares per minute among active players and fourth all-time.
On these individual merits, he's destined to be one of the best point guards to ever play the game. Heck, advanced metrics have placed him on target to be one of the best ever, regardless of position.
But then there's this staggering fact that on Friday seems to hang above all:
Six postseasons, zero trips past the second round.
Paul's season ended on Thursday just like all eight that came before it: without a trip to the NBA's final four. Paul's postseason disappointments are not limited to his professional career. In two years at Wake Forest, Paul never made it out of the Sweet 16 despite his team being seeded at No. 2 and No. 4 in his regions.
This does not compute. How can a player so good have such a shallow playoff career?
Chris Paul has never made it to the conference finals. What does this say about him as a player? Tom Haberstroh takes a look.