Chris Paul is one of the greatest point guards of this generation and a future Hall of Famer.
After recording 17 assists in Saturday's win over the Golden State Warriors, Paul has 9,006 dimes for his career, eighth on the all-time leaderboard. By season's end, he will surpass Isiah Thomas for seventh.
But despite career averages of 18.6 points, 9.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds, Paul is likely to be judged by his ability — or lack thereof — to win in the playoffs.
Although Paul has career playoff averages of 21.4 points, 8.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds, he has yet to reach the NBA Finals. In fact, last season was his first ever trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Paul's teams have typically been associated with playoff collapses, including blowing a 3-1 lead to the Rockets when Paul was still a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Those same Clippers were the first team in NBA history to blow a playoff lead in five straight years, which has hardly helped Paul's legacy.
Yet for all of the postseason failures and some evidence of decline this season, Paul told Yahoo Sports that he is not concerned with proving his doubters wrong:
“I know what I’m capable of,” Paul told Yahoo Sports. “I’m not worried about what nobody else is talking about. … I’ll find a way [to be successful].”
“I’m always self-motivated, and anybody who knows me knows that,” Paul told Yahoo Sports. “It’s not about proving it to somebody else. It’s me. I’m harder on myself than anybody else ever can be.”
With Paul back healthy and finally playing some of his best basketball of the season, the Rockets are in prime position to make a push toward the top of the Western Conference in the final 23 games of the year.