What is God’s point for unbelievers? Going into Game 4 last night against the New Orleans Pelicans, won 118-103 in New Orleans, Chris Paul put together an impressive performance in the 4th half to help the Phoenix Suns take a 2-1 lead. It looks like that probably won’t happen again in this series as the Pelicans’ plan looks like it will work after last night’s 2-2 series.
A pair of rookies Jose Alvarado and Herb Jones helped Paul have only 4 points after 8 shots last night. Alvarado, the uncomfortably pressurized but effective six-legged keeper, picked him all-in. Then, in the first half, the taller and 6-foot-7 Jones switched to him. It’s a plan that’s at least for a game to achieve absolute perfection as Paul has repeatedly shown disappointment.
Jones quite blatantly collided with Paul while “boxing” to regain his bounce, a game that led a lot of Twitter to call him a dirty player, but Paul actually bumped into Jones for the loss. hope just before. When Jones blocked a pass into the back lane and drove into some mess, Paul smacked him in the face in a non-basketball play that was billed as a Flagrant 1 but easily could have been a throw.
Grand Theft Alvarado forced Paul to breach 8 seconds and got one of his patented thefts as he hid in the corner while the other team was taking it to the courthouse, running into them from the side. Later, I imagine making the fighter make noises to myself. the whole time, and steal the ball. Paul saw that come in game 1, but Alvarado held on to that and it paid off. It’s a play that ironically ends with a Herb Jones firing.
Jones was the 35th pick in last year’s draft and Alvarado was rendered useless. These are not generational prospects, but two boys who were not selected in the first round. It’s hard to believe two rookies could take down one of the top five point defenders ever, and also somewhat evident in hindsight.
Last year, Jones in Alabama, was the SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Alvarado was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Georgia Tech. Maybe we shouldn’t be too shocked because they’re good at defense. Maybe it’s a sign of flaws in the way the draft outlook is evaluated. “Upside” seems to be the only thing that teams care about with draft arrival times and actual track record and winning record not seeming to matter all that much.
And this is not someone holier than you, the “I’ve seen it come all this time” stance. If you had asked me a year ago who your team should pick on the draft, I wouldn’t have said, “Oh, there’s a guy from engineering school the same height as me that would be a threat.” threatened.”
Even in hindsight, I can understand how Alvarado fell when he was undersized and not a super athlete, but how? Jones fell into the second round. He’s not just a well-skilled lad who played four years in college, who lacks the athletic prowess to be a good one in the NBA. I didn’t watch the combo but surely some NBA scouts must have seen that he can clearly jump to the moon as shown by the way he blocked three pointers from Mikal Bridges and Cameron Payne. “A young Kawhi Leonard in defence? No thanks.”
The best moment of the night for Jones came when he was on the floor and Paul reached out to help him up. Jones just shook his head, didn’t say a word and waited for a teammate. Playing defense is ultimately about lust, and these two certainly have it.