chris paul blazers

Chris Paul is valuable

It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar, majoring in Econometrics to spot the significance that Chris Paul has for the New Orleans Hornets. The numbers are glaring and never were they more blinding than last night in the Hornets’ 97-89 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Hornets were leading 72-55 when Paul left the game with 1:30 left in the third quarter.

Portland then outscored New Orleans 26-7 during the next seven minutes, with Jerryd Bayless scoring 13 of his 19 points during the decisive surge.

The rookie guard threw down a couple of thunderous fast-break dunks during the spurt and added a fast-break layup as he was fouled by Posey.

The most telling statistic of them all lies in the boxscore. The +/- on Paul and reserve point guard Antonio Daniels are blindingly obvious in their efficacy on Nawlins’ fortunes:

Min +/-
Chris Paul



Antonio Daniels 19:41 -27

Forget all of the triple doubles and steals streaks, those numbers tell you right there how valuable CP3 is to that franchise. The extent of the injury is not known yet. Much like Lakers fans who were holding their breath after the collapse of Andrew Bynum on Saturday against the Grizzlies, Hornets fans will wait with baited breath for the results of Paul’s MRI on Tuesday.

Hornets spokesman Dennis Rogers said Paul, who has started all 45 of the team’s games this season, strained his right groin. Paul walked out of the arena with a slight limp, saying only that he hurt himself when he “stepped wrong.”

From the Blazers’ perspective, they have to be happy with the production of the bench. Teams that progress in the playoffs have to rely on depth (even the Celtics managed to look outside their “Big Three” to Big Baby and Leon Powe during their run last season). Nate McMillan certainly has a bench that adds punch when the starters are faltering with this bunch. Last night, the bench contributed the following:






Rudy Fernandez





Joel Przybilla





Jerryd Bayless





Travis Outlaw





On an evening when all of the Blazers’ starters, apart from LaMarcus Aldridge (22 points, 11 rebounds) took the night off, the contribution from the bench was vital — particularly the explosion from Bayless.

“He was really the spark that turned everything around for us,” Aldridge said. “We got into a groove. We felt that we had it in our hands.”

The win was the fifth straight for Portland, setting them up well for their matchup in Dallas on Wednesday, whilst the Hornets have an anxious wait to guage how their immediate future looks.