Unstoppable: Chris Paul Goes NOVA

For the uninitated:

“‘Going Nova”-v: To accelerate your game in an explosive manner, to the point where you are shining so bright it’s hard to see anything else happening on the floor.

via Joe Johnson Goes Nova | Hardwood Paroxysm.

My briefer over at CBS:

It was a perfect example of the lengths Paul will go to in order to win. Trevor Ariza noted after the game that he had six rebounds. The Hornets’ big man, Emeka Okafor had 6 rebounds. Chris Paul had 13 rebounds, against the tallest and longest frontcourt in the National Basketball Association in a pivotal playoff game where he was also scoring and running the offense. Oh, and he had two steals. There was nothing more you could ask for from Paul. How often do you really get to say that about a player?

via NBA Playoffs: The insatiable, unstoppable CP3 – CBSSports.com.

I didn’t bury him. But I was close. I had the hammer in hand. It’s a weakness, falling for the latest thing, and to be fair, there are such strong performances, night after night, after night, from point guards in this league, and… whatever the hell Derrick Rose is (cause that ain’t a point guard), it’s easy to get lost. To forget, to walk past Paul. Especially after he looked so passive for so much of the regular season. Can you assume a player is holding back, if you don’t have a fan’s faith? I guess you should, as CP3 is showing us.

It’s such a firm control, is the thing. Shooters can shoot, but they need the offense to orchestrate the opportunity. Big men can deliver, but they need the space and the defense to allow them to carry it forth. But Paul? Paul is the guy. He’s at the center of everything. The offense doesn’t just flow through him, he’s the engine, the wheels, the carborator, the air filter, the spoiler, the tinted windows and the air conditioner. He’s the entire mechanism. He seems to always make the right decision, and in these games, he’s driven at another level. He wants to be at a frequency beyond what the Lakers are at. He’s a step ahead. He’s dodging bullets. He really is.

27 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds in the second half. A triple-double, his second in four games against the defending champions. Isn’t this what heroes are made of? Isn’t this the kind of performance you want to remember? But it’ll go unnoticed if/when the Lakers win this series. But we’ve got to. We’ve got to hold onto it for as long as we can because this guy is taking the sport we love and playing it a frequency we can’t even comprehend, with an intensity and beauty we can’t master.

There are albums that make people fall in love with music. Films which get you into movies. Books which drive people to literature. What Chris Paul did in Hornets-Lakers Game 4?

That’s the kind of game that makes people fall in love with basketball.

CP3 went Nova.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.