Trevor Ariza praises former Rockets star Chris Paul

Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza issued praise for former Rockets star Chris Paul.

Despite being a tad bit undersized, former Houston Rockets superstar Chris Paul has established himself as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. CP3 has improved the title chances of each team he’s been a part of, and he was the catalyst for the turnaround of the Los Angeles Clippers, who were known for being the laughingstock of the NBA prior to his arrival.

In Chris Paul’s first season with the Houston Rockets, he helped lead the team to a franchise-record 65 wins, and helped the Rockets push the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination, before ultimately getting injured in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Not only was CP3’s injury a heart-breaker for Rockets fans, but it will also forever be one of the biggest what-if moments in Rockets history, as the overwhelming belief is that the series was essentially the NBA championship.

The Rockets were written off before CP3 ever played a game in the Space City, as many believed it was simply impossible for him and James Harden to co-exist in the same backcourt. But CP3’s basketball acumen is simply too high for that to have been the case, as he’s proven to be a basketball savant and has had an adaptable game, which has allowed him to thrive alongside several different types of players.

We’ve seen countless examples of how CP3 is a true student of the game, as he’s constantly made high-IQ plays. For instance, during CP3’s most recent season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he alerted referees to the fact that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jordan Bell entered the fourth quarter of a game between the two teams with 1.1 seconds remaining with his jersey untucked.

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This resulted in a delay of game penalty, which happened to be the Wolves’ second such penalty of the game, meaning the Thunder got a free throw opportunity, which was pivotal as they were down 121-119 at the time. The Thunder ultimately won the game in overtime, which certainly wouldn’t have happened were it not for CP3’s watchful eye and thorough understanding of the rules, especially late in the game.

Trevor Ariza praises intelligence of former Rockets guard Chris Paul

Former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza recently joined the Knuckleheads podcast with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson and provided further context of the basketball intelligence of the former Houston Rockets star.

“CP watches basketball 24/7. So he knows every player, every offense, every set. He’s like the teacher but he’s aggravating. Because he knows every f-ing thing. But he’s so smart.

And he understands plays like two steps ahead. That’s how he gets all those steals, because he knows all the plays. He knows everything.”

If there’s anyone who would know about the brains of CP3, it’s certainly Ariza, as the two players were teammates on multiple teams. Ariza and Chris Paul spent two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets from 2010-2012, prior to playing one more season together with the Houston Rockets from 2017-18.

CP3 has especially shown his worth this season in OKC, as they were given a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoffs by ESPN prior to the start of the season. However, under CP3’s tutelage, the Thunder currently have the fifth seed in the Western Conference, with a 40-24 record.

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The Point God certainly deserves praise for how he’s been able to thrive with a relatively young roster, while also improving his averages across the board from his final season in the Space City.