Does Chris Paul need a ring to be considered among the greatest point guards ever?
After a rough opening round to the NBA Playoffs, it appears the "Point God" has returned to form.
So far through two games against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals, Paul has looked exactly like the future Hall of Famer that he is, guiding the Phoenix Suns to a 2-0 series lead.
Paul has been masterful, averaging 19 points and 13 assists per game while only recording one turnover in 67 minutes of play.
This is the level of play that spectators have become accustomed to over the course of Paul's decorated 16-year NBA career.
The level of dominance and consistency in all of his stops across the league, even in the face of constant adversity, is why Colin Cowherd holds Paul in such high regard, as he explained on "The Herd."
"Chris Paul has dealt with natural disasters, awful owners, tanking franchises, injuries at the worst time," Cowherd said. "He has a higher regular-season winning percentage all-time than Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant."
All he does is win … in the regular season.
As great as Paul is, and as consistent as his teams have been, he has yet to achieve the highest levels of postseason success.
His career playoff averages of 20.3 PPG and 8.3 APG paint him as one of the elite playoff floor generals in NBA history, but whether it be a crippling injury, an untimely turnover, or just losing to the superior team, he has not been able to reach the NBA Finals, let alone win a championship.
For this reason, Skip Bayless can't quite place him among the greatest point guards to have ever played.
On "Undisputed," Bayless explained why he needed to see more from Paul in the postseason before grouping him with the greatest to have ever played the position.
"I need more in the postseason, I've seen it all in the regular season," Bayless said. "When you look at what Chris has done in the regular season, it's spectacular. It's 11 All-Star appearances, four times he has won the assists title, six times he has won the steals title. Nine times he's been All-Defense, and what do you have to show for it in the postseason?"
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Paul has only one Western Conference finals appearance on his resume, in 2018 with the Rockets.
Shannon Sharpe shared the same sentiments as Bayless and does not include Paul among his five greatest all-time point guards. But for Sharpe, it's not due to his lack of postseason success as much as it was the lack of team accomplishments, combined with not having some of the most prized individual hardware.
"He gets a title, we can come back and have this conversation," Sharpe said. "But as we sit here today, with no regular-season MVP's and no Finals appearances, he can't crack my top five."
The good news for Paul is that he and the Suns have the look of a juggernaut so far this postseason, winning six of their eight games, including five in a row. And their last four victories have come by an average margin of 21.2 PPG.
If they continue at this pace, Paul could soon find himself as leader of the last team standing in the NBA playoffs.
What will his detractors say then?
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