09 March 2009

Deron vs. Paul, part "Are we still talking about this?"

Amazing what an 11-game win streak and a healthy ankle can do for a guy. After the "Deron vs. Paul" debate seemed to have been decided around December of this year (as Deron was out and dealing with his entire team being injured and Paul was putting up ridiculous stats and winning more), it looks like it's back on. From a column by Foxsports.com's Charley Rosen:

In one of your earlier columns this season you rated Deron Williams higher than Chris Paul. In the long run, which of the two do you think has the potential to have the better career? — Albert Tolents, Pampanga, Philippines

Williams, and here's why:

-He's much stronger than CP3 and should therefore be more resistant to serious injuries.

-Because of his size and strength, Williams can post up smaller opponents (like Paul), and can avoid being posted himself (unlike Paul).

-It should be expected that an injury or Father Time will eventually diminish Paul's amazing speed and quickness — and when speed guards lose a step, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.Williams is much more versatile, so much so that it's not inconceivable he could make a successful switch to the shooting-guard spot as he ages.

-Williams is a much, much better jump-shooter than CP3.

-Whereas Paul does most of his half-court scoring in conjunction with high screen/rolls, Williams benefits from weak-side screens, staggered screens, and isolations.

-Williams goes left better than Paul.In half-court situations, Williams' power makes him a better finisher.

-Paul is a sniper-type defender, while Williams' defense is more fundamental and less chancy.

-None of this is meant to suggest that Paul is anything less than the most dangerous speed guard in the league. He's also an incredible passer, and he plays in a system that maximizes his considerable skills.

-But, I'll bet your mortgage that Williams will have a better all-around career than Paul.

Well, that's interesting. I think what we need here is a New Orleans vs. Utah playoff matchup. We could get one in the first round this year, and if the Jazz come out on top (as I believe they would), look for the debate to flare up even more all over the place.

On a related note, this new-and-improved-through-getting-healthy Jazz team is getting a lot of respect. Ball Don't Lie said this today:
I'm not going to be able to tell you anything about the Jazz that you don't already know. At full strength, and I don't even think this team is there yet (despite the 11 consecutive -- !!! -- wins), this squad is good enough to win a championship. To down the Lakers, and overcome whatever the East spits out. I mean that.

I don't trust this Utah team quite thaaat much, but boy howdy it's nice to see these guys start playing well. Should be a fun rest of the 2008-2009 season.