The Difficult Task of Guarding Chris Paul

by April 29, 2009
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For the Nuggets, who lead the series 3-1, it’s a three-man job: “Dahntay Jones, Anthony Carter and Chauncey Billups have taken turns defending the ultra-quick Paul. They’ve made it a habit of denying him the ball, contesting his shots, sliding in front of dribbles, pressing him, trapping him — and yes — shoving him at every opportunity. This was never more obvious than in Denver’s 121-63 victory in Game 4 on Monday night at the New Orleans Arena that pushed its lead to 3-1 in the series. Paul, whose team faces elimination tonight at the Pepsi Center in Denver, scored four points and committed six turnovers. ‘We want Chris Paul to feel like he’s being blitzed, like he has a linebacker coming up the middle and one off the side,’ Denver Coach George Karl said. ‘He quarterbacked the team well in Game 3, and we didn’t want to give him the same space in Game 4.’ With the exception of Game 3 — a 32-point, 12-assist Paul performance — the three-prone Denver defensive attack has befuddled Paul, while keeping the Hornets’ offense from finding its rhythm.”