Chris Paul is the best floor general in the game. There’s a reason that every season during the annual NBA general manager poll they are asked “What player will make the best coach?” and they answer Paul — he sees the game like few others. The past few years, the Clippers leaned on that. In the half court offense, Paul would bring the ball up, call the play — or just call up the pick he wanted — then use that to pick-apart a defense via mismatch or clever setup.
So Doc Rivers, with Paul taking his talents to Houston, how will the Clipper offense be different next season?
“We’ll have ball movement, you know. That’s one of the things, for the most part, that I’ve always preached. With Chris’ skill, you wanted to take advantage of what he could do, and he was a guy that needed the ball to make plays. And he did it so well, you kind of changed to do that.”
While Rivers’ comment on its face is a bit sensational, he’s potentially right. The Clipper offense is going to need to be far more egalitarian, with the ball moving to the open man, to be as effective as CP3’s surgical attacks. The Clippers will need to move the ball.
Just don’t confuse ball movement with efficiency. Last season, the Clippers were fifth in the NBA in points scored per possession — the lowest they have ranked since Paul came to Los Angeles. As Rivers said, the Clippers adjusted what Doc may ideally want to do, but for a good reason — Paul knows how to run an offense and run it well.
The Clippers may well move the ball more next season, but expect a drop in offensive efficiency.