Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul has been named to seven NBA All-Defensive teams in his career, but even a player of his stature can sometimes forget how to play proper defense. In one instance during the Rockets’ preseason game Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, however, he did it intentionally.
When Paul saw Paul George zip a crosscourt pass to a wide-open Andre Roberson, Paul didn’t even bother to close out on the Thunder forward. Instead, he tempted Roberson to take a shot from deep, knowing how bad of a 3-point shooter Roberson is. It becomes an even more comical sight with Paul waving off Roberson as if to say that it’s a complete waste of time and energy to cover Roberson while mouthing off “Hell nah!”.
Perhaps it’s just part of Paul’s genius – to recognize which players in the league have as much chance of drilling a 3-pointer when there’s a hand on his face as taking it all undefended. Roberson is one of those players. He is a career 26 percent shooter from deep in the NBA and was the worst 3-point shooter last season among players with at least 150 attempts from beyond the arc.
Or maybe this is James Harden’s apathetic attitude on defense rubbing on to Paul. Uh oh, Rockets fans.