Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Geometry vs. CP3

No one wearing blue in this series is as fast as Chris Paul. That doesn’t mean CP3 can’t be contained. When the trap comes, especially from big guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Erick Dampier, it has to done smarter.

“It’s being able to have Dirk or Dampier look at the angles a little bit better,” Jason Kidd said. “Dirk probably feels he’s fast, but unfortunately Chris is probably a little bit faster. We have to get Dirk to understand a little bit about geometry and look at maybe an angle or two.”

Paul knows what to do against double-teams, but it’s still possible to get the ball out of his hands and beat New Orleans. The Hornets weren’t undefeated, after all.

“He’s tough. He’s been doing that pretty much all season,” Nowitzki said. “That’s why he’s an MVP candidate. That’s why they are the No. 2 seed in the tough West, because he’s been great. We actually tried to double-team him some off the pick-and-roll yesterday, but he’s just so quick that the big guys, me and Damp, had a tough time double-teaming him in the open court. He’s just so quick. He just beats both of us around and then he hit the open shooters, he hit the floater in the lane, he hit the pull-ups, so that really didn’t work out the way we wanted to.

“But we’ve just got to contest open shots a little harder and make it harder on them to get in the lane, find the shooters in transition. Their shooters really spread the floor in transition yesterday. They had us going in both directions. Paul had his game going and the shooters were spotting up and making everything. We’ve got to take some of it away a little bit.”

How fast is Paul? Think Allen Iverson.

“He’s one of the fastest,” Kidd said. “He’s right up there with AI and those guys. For me it’s just a matter of understanding the angles, too, and making it tough on him at both ends. He’s had a heck of a series and a heck of a season, so it’s just a matter of us making it tough and going from there.”

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