Chris Paul often leans toward getting his teammates involved early, finding a rhythm and then taking over the final 12 minutes of the game.
“I always try to get everybody involved,” Paul said. “I have the ball in my hands so much I always know that I have the opportunity to score and at times we do play better if I’m a little aggressive earlier.”
This season, the Clippers break even in the opening 12 minutes, registering a net zero in average first quarter scoring margin (12th in the NBA) and then edge their opponents by plus-3.8 points in the fourth quarter (2nd).
“He’s usually being played a certain way in the beginning of the game and instead of being overly aggressive in those situations,” Caron Butler said. “Whether he’s being blitzed or hard shows [on the pick and roll], he’s usually getting off the ball and creating opportunities for myself and other teammates and then obviously in the third and fourth quarter he finds a rhythm and takes over the game.”
Paul feels physically up to the task of taking on an increased workload.
“There’s this website where I can watch every shot that I’ve ever made in the NBA,” Paul said, referring to Synergy Sports Technology, a subscription service that ingests and indexes real-time broadcasts. “That’s all I do on the road or at home. I watch this website, just watching shots I’ve made, missed, turnovers, steals, assists, everything.
“I watch so much film. I watch film from me from my rookie year, my second year. I watch film all day, every day. I always tell myself, I feel better now than I did maybe three years ago, as far as my body, so why not be aggressive and be like I was in the past.”