Paul Has Been On Fire, Russell/Parker Have Stepped It Up

       With Stephen Curry having his legendary season up north, and Russell Westbrook notching triple double after triple double, Paul is seemingly being forgotten by the masses. Even Damian Lillard's scoring prowess after his All-Star break snub is garnering more attention than that of Christopher Emmanuel Paul. 

       Paul was pretty bland to the start the season, injuries being the main catalyst behind the struggles, but he has since picked it up. His play, without Blake Griffin, has been superb and has kept the Clippers within two games of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the third seed for the 2016 edition of the NBA playoffs. 

       During those 35 games without Blake, Paul is averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 10.4 assists, 2.2 steals on 48/38/89 shooting with only 2.6 turnovers. Just stunning numbers by the best floor general the association has seen in quite a while.

        Since the All-Star break, however, he has been even better. Averaging 24/5/12 on 52/38/90 and 2.3 steals/turnovers. Just one of many guards averaging great numbers since the break. Let's take a side by side look below (throwing in some other big names/surprises):

       Breaking down the comparisons, Paul is right in the middle when it comes to scoring and rebounding, but is right behind Westbrook in setting up teammates. Steals are his advantage, and Paul has been taking care of the rock exceptionally well. The gap between the top three point guards is visibly smaller than expected, but the fourth place gap is right there with Lillard stepping up. 

       The surprises there are the plays of Parker and Russell, the two most recent second overall selections. Russell has finally been given the green light and allowed to start, providing a big boost for an otherwise mediocre Laker season, while Parker is healthy and with Giannis Antetokounmpo running the point, has geared up his scoring contributions. Durant's five turnovers a night, with Westbrook's 4.3 have to be a cause for concern for Billy Donovan's squad however.