Rockets’ Chris Paul moves up on NBA’s all-time steals ladder
Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul has moved up to 11th on the all-time steals ladder, per the official Twitter account of the NBA. With his second steal on the night, Paul captured his 2,076th career steal, surpassing long-time NBA veteran guard Mookie Blaylock, who finished his career with 2,075 steals.
— NBA (@NBA) February 10, 2019
With his accomplishment, Paul is eyeing to move into the top 10 on the prestigious list. He needs 10 more steals this season to move past Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone.
Aside from being an outstanding playmaker, Paul has made a career of being one of the best perimeter defenders in the game. Despite his small 6-foot stature, his stocky frame allows him to play physical on defense and use his active hands to disrupt his opponents.
Throughout his career, Paul has led the NBA in steals per game six times. He did that in a span of seven seasons from 2007-08 to 2013-14. Moreover, Paul currently ranks fifth in NBA history in steals per game with 2.25, trailing Alvin Robertson, Michael Ray Richardson, Michael Jordan, and Mookie Blaylock.
Paul, 33, has had a down year thus far. This is partly due to injuries, and perhaps, father time as well. He missed 17 consecutive games from December to January with a hamstring injury and has struggled to find much of his rhythm especially on offense.
In his injury-riddled 2018-19 season, Paul is averaging 15.5 points per game on just 42.3 percent shooting, both of which are career-lows for the 14-year veteran. He still, however, continues to be a pest on defense as he averages 2.1 steals per contest.
Paul has had a reduced role on offense this season with reigning MVP James Harden having one of the best offensive seasons in recent history. Nonetheless, the Rockets will still need Paul to be healthy and productive to help ease the load off Harden in the post-season.