Rockets’ Lawson suggests Clips’ Paul isn’t elite because of playoff résumé

Is Ty Lawson's assesstment of elite point guards on point?

Isaiah J. Downing/Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

New Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson is firing shots all over the place now that he’s joining a contender, and the shards are hitting some of the West’s elite point guards.

Lawson recently called out Warriors guard Stephen Curry’s defense, or lack thereof, during the playoffs in an interview with Yahoo Sports.

In the same interview, Lawson took aim at elite West point guards who haven’t at least made the conference finals … a.k.a. the Clippers’ Chris Paul.

"I don’t think you’ve ever seen so many good point guards in one conference at one time in the league ever," Lawson told Yahoo Sports. "But you’ve got to win. If you want to be an elite PG in this league, you’ve got to win. You’ve got to be in the conference finals, the NBA Finals. If you’re not winning, you’ll always be a second-tier, or third-tier point guard."

This isn’t necessarily directed at Paul, as Lawson has praised Paul’s game in the past. But Paul fits the criteria — the only other West point guards who do are Damian Lillard and Eric Bledsoe, though neither is in Paul’s class as a player.

Judging a player’s entire career on how far they’ve gone in the playoffs or their playoff record is illogical if you ignore context, stats and competition. 

There are soooo many factors that go into a deep playoff run. It’s not fair to hold that against certain guys — especially ones like Paul, who can be considered an all-time great — when it’s clear that their competitive drive and desire to win a championship is off the charts. Paul’s résumé should speak for itself, conference finals or not. 

The Clippers and Rockets matchup for the first time Nov. 7 in Los Angeles. Mark your calendars.