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Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 12:27 pm  |  148 responses

Links: CP3 vs. Deron

The Great Debate…

Long before we decided to put Chris Paul and Deron Williams on the covers of SLAM 124, the debate was raging: Which of the two is the better player? I continued to advocate for CP3, while Ryne demanded we all consider Deron Williams the better player. Ryne and I wrote the two cover stories for the magazine, where we mostly concentrated on proving that our player is the best point guard in the NBA. But for the last week, we’ve been trying to convince each other of the other’s dominance through email. — LW

On Nov 17, 2008, at 11:02 PM, Ryne Nelson wrote:
Lang,

Looking back, it’s amazing that we’re even having this conversation. If you told me three years ago that some people would prefer Deron Williams over Chris Paul, I’d have looked at you like you said Ben Handlogten would one day grace SLAM’s cover.

The 1?When the Jazz drafted Deron third overall in 2005 — one pick ahead of Paul — some still questioned whether Williams could adjust to the pace of the NBA. Those doubts are long gone. Instead, people are now questioning whether Deron can be the better player. Comparisons will continue until the end of their careers, when success will be ultimately be measured in championships, not assist titles.

I’m not writing you to debate which point guard has better numbers (although, numbers invariably will play a role in this discussion — I’m ready, though). I’m here to say that Deron exhibits the stuff of a champion point guard; a self-confidence that he can lead his team to victory under all circumstances. In his young career, he’s already proven he can big win when it counts. His focus is almost too obvious. His confidence almost looks like swagger. Deron Williams is clutch as they come.

Understand, I do not prefer Deron Williams because of numbers—in the end, fewer points and assists per game won’t mean a damn thing. I prefer Deron Williams because he’s a proven winner who I can honestly trust to never stop until his team wins it all.

Ryne

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 2:54 PM, Lang Whitaker wrote:
Ryne,

To be honest, I’m also surprised we’re having this conversation. If I’d told you three years ago that some people would prefer Deron Williams over Chis Paul, it would have been a perfectly logical statement — after all, the Jazz obviously preferred Deron over CP3.

HOWEVA!, since then it’s been pretty cut-and-dried that Chris has been the better player of the two (first team All-NBA, MVP runner-up, All-Star appearance, etc.). (Also, Chris’s numbers have been demonstrably better than Deron’s, but we don’t have to go there.)

I understand that you’re putting Deron ahead of CP3 because you feel Deron will win more championships than Chris will. Well, you can get a good look at a t-bone by sticking your head up a bull’s ass, but why don’t you take my word on this? Chris Paul is better. Simple.

What are you basing all this on? The championships Deron won in college? Because if I’m not mistaken, the one title game Illinois made with Deron at the point, they lost. Deron and CP3 both won a world title this summer — you know, on the team where Deron had to back up Chris Paul.

Both of these guys have won a lot of games at every level of their careers, and they’ll probably both continue to rack up the W’s. And I don’t mean to imply that Deron’s not a great player.

I just want to make sure you understand that Chris Paul is better.

–lang

On Nov 18, 2008, at 11:09 PM, Ryne Nelson wrote:
Lang,

Remember playing pick-up games as a kid? Captains selected players, one at a time, to their team. Who was always the first player picked?

If you played often, you’ll remember the kid well: Dude was probably the biggest and scariest; he was essentially unstoppable. On my block, I’ll never forget that guy because when people got in his way, they’d often end up with bite marks and fractured fingers.

In the League, conduct is controlled. Even still, of a group of point guards, Deron Williams would be the first taken. Not only is he more than three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than Paul, but Williams is the only player in the League who knows exactly how to neutralize Paul.

To prove my point, let’s go back to college. Dec. 1, 2004 — Illinois romped the consensus No. 1 Wake Forest 91-73 on national television. Illinois then went nearly undefeated until the National Championship Game. Wake Forest, on the other hand, lost in the tourney’s second round.

Since entering the NBA, Deron beat Chris in eight of 10 tries. Paul’s worst performances — professional and collegial; individually and collectively — are often against Deron Williams.

If Paul was better, he’d own head-to-head matchups. But he hasn’t, not even close. Fans are crazy about Paul, but Williams — with his size, deceptive speed and keen decision-making skills — is the tougher match-up.

I keep saying it: Better players find ways to win games. In 2005, Deron led Illinois to a 37-2 record and a national title appearance. In 2007 (Williams’ first season as a full-time NBA starter), he led the Jazz to the Western Conference Finals. In 2008, Utah lost in the second-round to the second-best team in the world.

Despite Paul’s accolades last season, would I still take Deron Williams over Chris Paul? Yes, with even less hesitation. If you’d rather pick Paul first, be my guest.

You’ll see plenty of individual accolades but also plenty of 5-4 starts. And that’s perfectly cool by me.

Ryne

On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:26 PM, Lang Whitaker wrote:
He might be before your time, but there used to be an NBA player named Elmore Spencer. He played back in the ’90s, was a slow seven-footer who went to UNLV and was a first-round pick by the Clippers. He managed to hang around the NBA for about five years, never doing much except teasing everyone with his massive size and potential that ultimately went unfulfilled.

I bring him up because I went to middle school with his younger brother. He’d obviously inherited his big brother’s size and potential, but, like his brother, he was raw on the court. Still, every day in PE in 7th and 8th grade, he was the first kid picked when we played pick-up basketball. Always. He was, as you said, the biggest and scariest kid. He once broke my hand trying to block one of my lay-up attempts.

Point being, he had size, he could move, he was pretty good for a young teenager…but whenever it was my turn to pick, I drafted a kid named Nick. Nick was short and skinny and may or may not have had a learning disability (he signed my yearbook and referenced Larry Bird, only he spelled the surname “Brid”), yet he could play basketball. At the end of the day, Nick’s teams always won the most games. I wanted Nick on my team.

So sure, since he’s taller and fatter, Deron Williams might The 1?look like a better basketball player than Chris Paul. But as Eddie Murphy will tell you, looks can be deceiving. (And I like how you referred to Deron’s “deceptive” speed — I think that means he’s slow, right?)

If you want to talk about team wins, let’s go back to that 2004-05 college season. If Deron’s Illini team beating Chris’ Wake team is proof that Deron is better, then I guess that means Brandon Fuss-Cheatham is better than Deron. (Who? He was Ohio St.’s PG when they beat Illinois that season.)

Oh, and you know who else is definitively better than Deron? Raymond Felton. Not only did his UNC team beat Illinois, they did it when it mattered the most, in the championship game — and if Deron is a championship player, someone must have to be amazingly better to top him.

To be honest, I really don’t care how Chris has fared against Deron head-to-head. If the NBA was a League where Chris Paul had to play one-on-one against Deron Williams 82 times each season, then maybe I’d pay more attention to their individual match-ups. But basketball is a team game, and Chris Paul is the best team player and the best point guard of our generation. (And as Tom Ziller pointed out on Fanhouse, Chris’s numbers last season are comparable with the best point guards of all-time. FWIW, Deron is not mentioned in that argument.)

So Ryne, I can understand if you’re a Deron Williams fan — after all, you guys both got stuck having to go to U of Illinois, I guess because neither of you could get into Indiana, so you have that common bond. I understand that. Hey, I grew up in Atlanta and have always loved Dominique Wilkins. At the same time, I try to be a realist, and I understand that Nique was no Michael Jordan.

Deron Williams is a great player. He’s just no Chris Paul.

–lang

On Nov 19, 2008, at 7:21 PM, Ryne Nelson wrote:
Lang,

I know we weren’t planning to debate numbers, but since you mentioned it, why not?

Before you talk about stats, let’s not forget something that should always be considered when comparing Williams and Paul: They play in entirely different systems! The two offensive systems are quite different and certainly affect their individual success.

Paul’s system requires him to be in pick-and-roll situations which play to his strengths. Deron plays in Jerry Sloan’s offense, which is predictable, rugged and unchanged for years. If we took Deron and put him on New Orleans, I think he could be equally as effective. But I wonder whether Paul would be half as effective as Deron in Sloan’s system. Utah has an excellent system (look at Sloan’s success), but it doesn’t allow the freedom and creativity that New Orleans’ system does.

My main man Monta Ellis is an example — and you’ve told me this before — he is/was a product of an open floor system which enhances his strengths. If you put Ellis on Utah, his numbers would undoubtedly go down.

So, if Deron were in New Orleans, would his numbers go up? Probably. Because in Utah he is more structured and managed by the coach and his system.

The article you cited was just a basic, per-game stat rundown. It says nothing about offensive systems. How can such an important factor be neglected, especially when focusing on the point guard position?

Still, let’s forget offensive system for a moment and just focus on numbers. Even in the Jazz’s offensive system, Deron Williams was just as good or better last season in scoring and passing.

John Hollinger often reaches with his calculations, but these are just the facts:

– Williams scored more efficiently, shot better and got to the line at a higher rate. His true shooting percentage topped Paul’s. Williams also had a big edge in three-point accuracy. Paul was better from the line and scored more points more per 40 minutes. So call it a draw.

– Both players registered assists on just over 35 percent of their team’s possessions. Paul was one assist better per game because his team had more possessions. Paul edged Deron in a few categories—he had a lower turnover frequency, one more board per, and led the L in thefts. So they’re pretty damn close.

I like Deron Williams as a defender. He certainly can shut down the League’s ‘other’ premier guard (something Paul has yet to show he’s capable of) and is widely considered the better one-on-one defender.

To end, I think this hypothetical question is entirely valid for this discussion: If Deron Williams played for Byron Scott, who’s to say the Hornets wouldn’t have had even more wins last season? It’s not impossible to imagine Deron, in that offensive system, could earn second-place honors in MVP voting. He certainly would dominate in assists.

So if you want to consider stats, don’t neglect the context.

Ryne

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 1:47 PM, Lang Whitaker wrote:
OK, first of all, the Jazz don’t use a pick-and-roll system? I know you’re younger than I am, but you’ve never heard of Stockton-to-Malone? Perhaps Williams-to-Boozer doesn’t carry the same resonance yet, but running pick-and-rolls is what the Jazz do. It’s pretty much all they do, actually.

The Hornets, at least to me, have a more strict offensive system (they run a modified Princeton offense) than Utah, at least in terms of the cuts and picks and passes required to make it work. Jerry Sloan is more of a curmudgeon than Byron Scott, so there’s that, but I think New Orleans runs a more structured offense than Utah.

And then you bring up Hollinger. So New Orleans had more possessions than Utah last season? Maybe that’s because Chris Paul has three times as many steals per game as Deron Williams?

Look, it occurs to me that there’s a lot of imagination required on my part in reading your arguments about why Deron Williams is better than CP3. Would Deron be better in a different system? Would CP3 be worse in a different system? Deron Williams is “widely” considered a better defender? (Is that why CP made second-team all-defense last year and Deron didn’t?) If Deron played for Byron Scott, would the Hornets have had more wins last season?

Let’s go off of what we already know: Deron Williams was selected ahead of Chris Paul in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Now, last season, during a season in which both players posted career-best numbers, Chris Paul averaged 21 points per game. Deron Williams averaged 18.8. Chris Paul averaged 11 assists per game. Deron Williams averaged 10.5. Chris Paul averaged 5 rebounds per game. Deron Williams averaged 3. Chris Paul averaged 3 steals per game. Deron Williams averaged 1.1. Chris Paul averaged 2.5 turnovers per game. Deron Williams averaged 3.4. Last season, Chris Paul’s Hornets won 56 games. Deron Williams’ Jazz won 54.

One other number worth noting: Chris Paul is still only 23 years old.

You can stick with Deron Williams if you want — I won’t take it personally. I’ll stick with CP3. Maybe Deron Williams will top him in head-to-head match-ups. And then maybe you and Deron can sit on the couch together and watch as CP3 and the Hornets go deeper into the postseason.

–lang

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 11:40 PM, Ryne Nelson wrote:
Lang,

You know what Chris Paul, Larry Hughes, Gerald Wallace, Baron Davis and Allen Iverson have in common? They’ve led the League in steals per game at least once since 2001.

You know what else they all have in common? They are not great defenders.

They take risky chances on passing lanes, and they do not defend the ball particularly well. Deron Williams is widely considered a great on-ball stopper, and Chris Paul is not.

Also, forget imagination; look no further than the Hornets’ middling start. I kid you not — in a recent game, Paul was involved in nearly 50 pick-and-rolls! New Orleans’ game plan is effective but easily predictable by now.

I don’t care how slow a team starts a season. A 5-5 record is real.

Could the Hornets be better than .500 with a bigger point guard who defends the ball better? Yes.

Paul’s weaknesses are most obvious when he plays the Jazz. Deron had Paul’s number even before he entered the League!

Deron is too strong for Paul. Paul has trouble with Williams’ size, which often gets him into foul trouble, especially when Deron posts him up. Personally, I would rather have the bigger point. Deron is also the better shooter and is on par as a passer.

If I were to go into a Playoff series, there’s no question I’d take Deron. He’s too strong for most point guards in the League. And, as I said, I believe Deron has the extra fire that wins championships. He’s certainly proved he’s capable of advancing further in an elimination setting.

Deron will continue to abuse Paul. It’s gotten to the point where I actually feel bad for Paul when he faces Utah.

Respect the media,

Ryne

On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM, Lang Whitaker wrote:
Ryne,

Honestly, you make a good point with your stat about guys who’ve led the league in steals — none of those guys are considered great defenders (well, Larry Hughes used to be, before he signed that huge contract and people actually started paying attention to his game). Still, if I’m looking for a point guard to defend on a play, I’ll take the guy who averages three times as many steals as the other guy, no questions asked.

But your argument that Chris Paul is basically the reason the Hornets have started 5-5 is about as lame as those Kenny Mayne videos ESPN.com keeps trying to shove down our throats. You may truly believe that Deron is better than CP3, but CP3 is one of the five best players in the entire NBA! Come on now — if anything, the Hornets would be way worse than 5-5 without Chris. Next thing I know you’ll be trying to convince me that the economy’s in great shape and that Nancy Pelosi’s never had plastic surgery.

As this debate has progressed, I’ve realized that even if I got Chris Paul to sit on your lap and plead his own case, you wouldn’t change your mind. And that’s OK — someone had to take Deron ahead of CP3 in the draft, just like someone had to take Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan and someone had to select Darko ahead of Dwyane Wade.

Understand, I’m not saying Deron is a bust. He’s a top notch point guard, and I look forward to seeing him in the All-Star Game for years to come…backing up Chris Paul.

I’ve enjoyed this back-and-forth, and hopefully I’ve at least made you re-think hating on Chris Paul. I did my best to show you the truth, that Chris Paul is the best point guard in the world today.

And unlike Deron Williams, you’ve done a terrific job defending your man.

–lang

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  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Like the 2 1′s games. Those 2 covers look sharp.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Can’t declare a winner until the Deron plays for a month. Great job guys.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Interesting read guys. My take; prefer Paul’s game and style, but if I was going to war in a 7 game series. Deron would be my first choice. As good as Paul is (top 5 for sure), Deron simply poses more problems for opposing teams imo. Lang, like I told you on that DDDenver thread yesterday, thx for cheering me up in during a tough moment.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    8>3

  • http://nothinpersonal8.blogspot.com/ nothin personal

    You dirty Jazz-jinxers! First, you had Malone injured in his firdt cover ever (In Lakers uniform), now Deron, and I bet you werte debating Boozer too.

  • ciolkstar

    ***News break***
    Al Harrington to the Knicks for Jamaal Crawford (not Malik Rose)
    Does this make Harrington more valuable than David Lee? DLee is a FA in my league…

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Deron is better though. 8)

  • ciolkstar

    Crap. I meant Harrington is a FA in my league, should I drop DLee to get him?

  • ciolkstar

    I do think Deron is the better defender, but CP3 is on another level offensively. But you literally can’t go wrong with either guy.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight! The old school Lang schooled the new kid on the block. Word.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Oh, and 3 > 8. FTH.

  • http://kicksnet.com basketball shoes

    CP3… no doubt. Man he has his own shoe.

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    Ryne had told me he was working on this for a while, so I’ve already prepared a response. I’ve taken about a three days to work on this, so it’s going to be very well thought up. Alright, here it goes:
    IVERSON IS BETTER THAN AI YOU TARDS!!!

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    Damnit, I meant to say Iverson is better than Arenas. Man, three days of work down the drain. Where is my freakin’ edit button?

  • peteb80

    Imo Ryne makes the better case, but I might be biased since I’ve always preferred Deron over CP.

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    rival for life …

  • matt the jazz fan

    since these are gonna be players for the ages, unlike atlanta, shouldn’t we give’em a couple more years before making any definitive statements? even as a jazz fan it’s a tough one to call…

  • matt the jazz fan

    unlike atlanta = “unlike atlanta’s wasted draft pick of yet another average small forward”
    sorry lang…

  • https://highglass.blogspot.com Jay Davis

    Deron is a top-five point guard. CP3 is a top-five PLAYER in the L.

  • http://clarkeblog.com Chris Clarke

    Great, great stuff guys. Ryne did a fantastic job presenting argument after argument, but Lang gets the last word for a reason: he did a better job of defending his guy. Victory: Whitaker

  • NosebleedSeats

    Hornets minus 3 > Jazz minus 8

    8 > 3

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    I’d love to see more of this “in house” e-mails from the SLAMDome

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Jay Davis:Deron is a top 2 point guard.

  • kid Juicey

    When does hit newstands ?

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    NosebleedSeats is insane. The Hornets best player is DAVID WEST, a man who I think is highly overrated. He is an Amare with less range and less ball movement to create his own shot. He can muscle his way in to get a basket, but mostly needs Chris Paul drawing the offense to get a passing lane. Remember how AWFUL he was when Chris Paul was out? Next you have Peja, who looks like he’s playing blindfolded… Next, Tyson Chandler, who people were beginning to consider an offensive BUST until he played with Paul. After that…? Who? Pargo’s gone. Who is next? POSEY? The dude hits big shots but sure as hell doesn’t hit anything else.
    The Jazz have a CREW of great players. They have Betrayal Skull Dude, who has proven in this stretch without Deron that he can easily score thirty with his high arch jump shots and crafty pseudo post-moves. You have Kirilenko, an all-around guy who can pass, score on garbage baskets, rebound, play defense, block shots, do it all. You have Paul Milsap, who could EASILY be a starter on any other team in the L, great basketball IQ and post moves. Okur is a damn solid center, he is a three point threat that draws centers out and clears space for the slashers (and Boozer), but he keeps them honest on defense. Ronnie Brewer isn’t terribly great but he’s a fantastic slasher who can get his own buckets. Then you have guys like Korver and Knight, great bench guys, far better than the crap you have on the Hornets.
    That’s a totally horrid statement, NosebleedSeats.

  • Ken

    Thoroughly enjoyed that. Thanks.

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    I WILL throw this in, it was actually what me and my brother were arguing about (he likes Deron better). He started ranting about the Olympics, and I immediately started the whole “the gameplay was more suited for Deron” talk, when my brother through this possibility at me:
    What if Deron got better over the summer? What if we were seeing in the Olympics wasn’t Deron adjusting better to an alien system than Paul was, but what if that was because Deron had trained himself to be better, think and move faster. I do think Deron looked sharper than I’ve ever seen him at the Olympics.
    It’s a hard argument to make a case against. It could be that once Deron comes back healthy, we’ll realize that he really DID improve over the summer, and that the Olympics was just a taste of what he picked up.
    Just playing devil’s advocate though, I still think Paul is better.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Deron needs to come back and put in some work for my fantasy team. But regardless, I’ll take CP all day if I was a GM.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    David West-a man who shoots 40% from 3 is Amare-a man who shoots 0% from 3-with less range.Really?David West-the guy who averaged 20 and 11 during is final year in college is the same guy who was nothing without Chris Paul.Some would say that West’s sudden increase in numbers was all due to Paul,I would say it hard more to do with his minutes doubling and him actually starting games.Sure it coincided with Paul’s arrival,but that has nothing to do with anything,unless it was Paul’s decision to start West….

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    it had more to do*
    -
    Little known fact:Chris Paul actually drafted David West.

  • Mo

    Why are the Jazz playing so well without Deron? Even AK-47 seems to play better without Deron. The Hornets would never win anything without CP3.

  • Mo

    Forgot to say that I’m totally digging those covers.

  • namik

    Lang must have watched “Thank You For Smoking” a lot. Or he already knew the best way to win a debate is to divert the conversation to your strengths even if it meant taking the argument to a whole another place. Still, this is still up in the air. Especially with the horrible start the Hornets have had.

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero Dma

    We should call a truce and say Luther Head was better than both in college. Or something. Who was the other guard on that Illinois team? Dee Brown who?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    this is stupid long

  • Anton

    CP3 by a longshot

  • Mo

    Dma, I used to watch the Illinois games mainly to watch Dee Brown and Head.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I don’t see it. I like Deron, he’s real nice and all… but CP3 might be talked about in the same breath as Zeke, Magic, Stockton, etc. when it’s all said and done. Deron is a nice pg, one of the better pgs of the decade. CP3 could be one of the better pgs, period. Their ceilings are very different.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Anybody else remember those “I love Head” T shirts during Luther’s run at Illi? Classic.

  • NBK

    The difference you two did not highlight about the offenses of chris paul and deron williams is that chris paul’s offensive system is completely structured around Chris Paul, and the Offense Deron runs in Utah is the same offense Jerry Sloan has been running for two decades. Ofcourse Paul is going to have better numbers the offense is built around every one of his strengths while hiding his weaknesses. I do think however that Paul is the “better” player, but each is equally effective in different situations and there is really no “right” answer.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @NBK: If I understand you correctly, I actually said the exact same thing in my third email.

  • NBK

    @Ryne basically yeah you did, i was just trying to point out that Byron Scott never ran the offense he runs, he “created” the whole thing around Paul. You said that but didn’t, you see what i am sayin?

  • NBK

    If Deron had an offense that was built and styled completely around his game then he would probably have numbers similar to Paul. If he played on the Hornets I don’t think he would have as much success though, teams would just try and make him beat them because he does not cause as much defensive lapses as paul does with his speed and quickness.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @NBK: Actually, the Nets ran the Princeton offense when B-Scott was the coach. He’s tweaked it some for CP3, but it’s pretty similar.

  • http://www.slamonline.com John D

    This is ridiculous. CP is better and it’s really not that close.

  • Mo

    John D, apparently when a guy and his team wins head to head matchups, that’s the only thing that matters to some.

  • http://myspace.com/embracedfla Bryan

    I like cp better. He’s a stronger rebounder and just as good or better in all other aspects.

  • NBK

    Lang- Your right the Nets did run a similar Princeton offense w/ some of the same plays but Scott tweaked just about everything about that offense to fit Paul. In a way Jason Kidd was a very similar gaurd so it probably wasn’t too much of a change from what Scott was used to but he did change the offense for paul. And from what ive seen and read about Utah and their offense it is pretty much from play to play the exact same it has been for the last 20 years.

  • Mo

    @NBK: which is probably why the Jazz isn’t really struggling without Deron. Last season I watched a game where Deron was in foul trouble and Jason Hart and Ronnie Price came in and the Jazz offense never missed a beat. It’s the same as it’s always been. Go in and run Sloan’s system and you’ll be fine.

  • Mo

    Also let me add that Sloan looks to be loosening the reign a little bit to give Deron a little bit more freedom than he has in the past.

  • NBK

    I don’t know about the whole loosening the reins thing Mo- Sloan did let Stockton pick the plays for 12 years, i would say sloan is actually just getting back to what he is used too

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Please cut the system about the system being made for Paul. Can someone actually tell me what exactly is limiting Deron’s numbers in Sloan’s system? The system worked out just fine for a certain pg who liked his shorts very tight, no? Aren’t pick n rolls the easiest way for a pg to rack up assists on jumpers resulting from the pop? PLEASE someone, anyone explain to me the system that is handcuffing Williams.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    cut the b—s—, that is.

  • http://www.mykal1.blogspot.com MyKal

    I’m on the CP3 bandwagon.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    CP3>DERON WILLIAMS

  • ciolkstar

    The “system” arguments are pointless because that’s not a variable anyone can “control” for. If I’d give deron the edge anywhere it’d be on defense, where he could match up better witha guy like Chauncey in the post. Also, I do think CP3 has the ball in his hands more than Deron does in their respective offenses. Also, I think Jukai’s post about Deron looking great in the Olympics brings up some interesting points. deron looked quick as hell, got in the lane atleast as easily as Paul and was able to score or drop anice little dime off penetration. The argument is essentailly unwinnable for either side (especially this early in both their careers)

  • NBK

    @Z-Maybe the fact that John Stockton was the most productive PG of all time is the reason he had so much success, or maybe the fact that he had the 2nd leading scorer of all time catching his passes? John Stockton was a great PG playing with another Great player that is why his numbers are going to be so much higher and “greater” then Williams in Utah and Paul in NO. THere is a statistic that shows there is less than a 1% chance any player every breaks either of John Stocktons main records. Assists and Steals

  • NBK

    The system means a lot to a players success, – to make everyone mad- look at david west

  • Mo

    Can I find this issue on my stands this weekend?

  • ciolkstar

    Man, I hate david west and feel pretty confident about the fact that he would not be seeing 20-10 with out a CP3 Deron type. he is incredibly consistent with the midrange J. He’s actually very Malone-ish, possibly part of why I hate him so much.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Again, NBK, can you point out what exactly is limiting Deron’s numbers in Sloan’s system. You’re dodging.

  • ciolkstar

    NBK has stats that can pedict the future? Wow. One reason for Stockson’s amazing stats was his unmatched longevity. The thing is, players like CP3 and Deron are starting younger and, if able to avoid injuries, I wouldnt be surprised if Deron and CP3 broke his assist record (the steals are pretty ridic though.) I have to say, I lean toward Paul in this debate, but its really not fair (or productive) to make these arguments yet.

  • NBK

    Ciolkstar- once again i do not make up stats when i show them too you, you can probably google this statistic i am talking about i read it a few months ago. I am not predicting the future it is a stat based on odds and yes adds in stocktons longevity. But i do not think Chris Paul or Deron Williams will ever average 13 assts a game in a season let alone 5 in a row of 13 plus two in which stockton averaged 14. And the reason Deron’s numbers are “limited” which they aren’t in sloans system is because Williams does not dictate all of the offense, sets run through boozer, even a little through okur, and utah is more on ball movement then one guy dominating the ball and the game.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Ryan wins the argument in my opinion.
    Deron would be my personal 1st pick. The head to head comparison speaks for itself in a way, but when examining the Olympic stats it becomes clear that CP did better in almost every statistic.
    This would be a great measuring stick since they didn’t really have a 1st or 2nd unit. Just plain even minute rotation. (except if your name is Michael Redd)
    Somehow I’d give Deron the personal nod though.
    There both freaking good.

  • NBK

    But for the record Deron’s stats are not limited you are crazy if you think they are. He would have to play 45 minutes a game to have numbers that you wont consider limited, i mean serious 18 and 10 is great not limited

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I meant Ryne.
    Sorry Ryne

    R

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    NBK, you absolutely did not get what I am trying to say. I’ve never implied that 18 and 10 was ‘limited’ (can stats be limited?). Since you were saying that CP3 was looking better because of NO’s system, well I ahad to ask what was wrong with Utah’s system that was cramping Deron’s style. Nothing, would be my answer. I love how Ryne talked about ‘heart’, ‘swag’ and all that to make his case. With Paul, you can just go by numbers and accolades. First-team ALL NBA. I rest my case.

  • NBK

    Z like i just said he does not dictate all of their offense that is why he does have larger numbers. Is that clear enough? Like i said before I still think Chris is the better player.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Deron is number five in my fave five.
    I still like him better than Chris Paul, but the fact that the Jazz have been pretty good without him is hurting his case.
    He is, however, a much better defender than Paul.

  • mdshuai

    D Will has his own shoes too; they’re not Jordan’s, but then again MJ’s name on the shoe is not exactly a stamp of dominance. See: Rip Hamilton, Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony. So what’s the point? None, just pointing out facts. DWill does have his own shoes, I saw them at footlocker the other day. And, might I say, I thought they looked pretty tight.

  • Mo

    AllenP exactly how is he a “much” better defender than Paul? He’s better against bigger pg’s than Paul(but then again just about every point guard is bigger than Paul) but smaller guards blow by him easily. He can hardly stay in front of smaller guards. Paul blows by him easily as well but when he does, someone else is always waiting on Paul in the lane, paint. Usually someone like Boozer or AK are deterrents. Then when Paul kicks it out to a player, for some reason they don’t knock down shots. When the Hornets play the Jazz, it’s a team effort to contain Paul. Even though the Jazz aren’t a particularly good defensive team, they concentrate a lot on Paul. After their rookies seasons AK told Deron to not “play against Paul”, it would be Hornets vs. Jazz and that his teammates would be there to help him. And they do. Paul is not a great defender but he is a scrappy one. One that causes lots of turnovers. Along with being a thief, he causes guys to travel, lose balls out of bounds, etc. People automatically assume that because a guy is bigger means he’s a better defender. If that’s the case, Eddy Curry must be one of the best defenders in the league then. LMAO! And from a defensive statistical point of view if I’m not mistaken I think Paul always has a better defensive rtg.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    “Well, you can get a good look at a t-bone by sticking your head up a bull’s ass, but why don’t you take my word on this?”–Very funny. (Continues reading the rest of this post)

  • rob stewart

    We played against Illinois in college when Deron ws a Freshman. He was soooo underated. They had Cook, Head, and Dee Brown that year. I hardly even remember DWill. But he has proven to be a good PG. That being said I think CP3 will be better for the first half of their careers but as age catches up with them DWill will be better because of his size.

  • NBK

    Sorry MO but Deron Williams got 3 votes for all defensive team (1st team) last year and those are voted on by the coaches so everything you just said is null

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    Lang and Ryne, seeing as how you can’t agree on whose better, I’ll be the tie breaker. Y’all are both wrong. Smush Parker. End of argument. In all seriousness, this type of question, regardless of the individuals being compared, can be asked until the end of time. Just agree to disagree.

  • NBK

    If we didn’t talk about things like this Double R then there would be little to talk about in sports.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Ryne is also crazy for saying Gerald is not a great defender. Gerald averaged 2 blocks 2 steals. If thats not great defence i dont know what is.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Double R

    True NBK but after awhile it gets annoying. Even Chris and Deron are tired of answering this question.

  • NBK

    Thats why their are sports writers answering it and not Deron and Chris. Obviously it is a topic that they have been discussing and now they are letting us mull over what they already said. If you don’t like that people are discussing it then very simply go away

  • Mo

    Well if he was so good at defense NBK why didn’t he make the 1st team? Heck did he even make an all-d team at all? And did CP3 not have 10 first place votes? Way to try and disregard that. And I know a lot of people will say “but he got it because of steals”. Well steals is a defensive stat so whomever leads the league in any defensive stat (rebounding, blocks, steals) will most likely all the time make least one all-d team. And then of course you’ll have the guys who are great defenders whose productions you won’t see on stat sheets (Bowen, Battier, Bell).

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    NBK i disagree with you 100% Chris Paul is simply better than Deron Williams. He is not much better, he is not far supperior, but he is better. CP3 makes everybody around him play better, you even claimed he turned David West into a 20-10 guy (which we all know he didnt, but for the sake of this argument, he did) and has forced Byron Scott to cater his offensive play book to CP3. CP3 is also a great defender, but i would say Williams has the slight advangtage in the defensive department. Williams runs the same offense as John Stockton, one of the greatest point guards ever. And since he has Carlos Boozer to make a poor man’s Stockton to Malone combo. Lets break it down though. Chris Paul is know for his passing and playmaking skills. HE makes everybody around him better. He is also a better scorer than Deron Williams, although Deron would probaly be the better 3 point shooter between them, CP3 is more of a complete offensive threat. So offensilvy-CP3 wins the battle, defensilvy- Deron Williams, making their team better- Chris Paul, advantage CHRIS PAUL. The Jazz are curently without Deron, but they are still playing good ball. IF CP3 were to go down, David West would be the only guy playing to his full potential, but thats because David West is a beast.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    MO
    I’ve seen Deron Williams stay in front of Iverson late in games. I’ve seen him stay in front of Tony Parker. Doesn’t get much smaller or quicker than those two.

  • Mo

    Good post BETCATS. And let me say that since there are more bigger guards in the league and Deron is better at guarding the bigger point guards than Paul, then I guess the defensive nod would go to Deron. It would be a bigger deal if the bigger point guards posted up more these days but point guards have kind of gotten away from that. It’s mainly about being able to stay in front of your man these days.

  • NBK

    Bet your just straight up baffling me with the things you say- i said more than 1 time clearly that i think chris paul is the better player.-And as i have already explained on like 4 different posts on this site there is no proof anywhere that david west is anything without chris paul.

  • Mo

    Ok Allenp but I’ve also seen him get blown by those guys so I guess we’ve seen him at different times then. Gotta go to work now. Have fun debating guys.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Allenp: Chris Paul clowns Jason Kidd and Steve Nash everytime they play. He holds Tony Parker in check, he contains Allen Iverson. But i do think that Williams is a better defensive player, but just barely.

  • NBK

    There is no PG in the League that can effectively guard every other PG in the L. Talking about their defensive abilities is suspect because their defense is not why we are having this discussion. If defense meant “so” much to the debate of who is a better PG then maybe Rondo will be in this discussion next year because he is the best defender for a PG in the league and is beginning to show some offensive abilities. (i do not think rondo is on the same planet as d-will or cp; just making a point) IF defense did mean a lot to the discussion best pg in the League then steve nash would not have a single MVP award and would never have been in the discussion for best PG

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com JoeBasketball

    I honestly believe it’s CP£, i would argue my case but almost every point i can think of has already been said.
    Also, those covers are F-R-E-S-H

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero Dma

    The only we we’re going all going to agree is if we simulate 2K9 10 times with CP on the Hornets and Williams on Jazz and vice versa. Now do the damn thang!

  • NBK

    THats 2k9 not real life duesch

  • NBK

    Plus Jason Kidd gets MVP 1 out of every 5 seasons and we all know that is ludacris, can’t trust a video game son

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I don’t think you can definitively answer this question until one of them wins a title, but in my opinion CP3 is a better passer and off-the-ball defender, whereas Deron is a better scorer and on-the-ball defender. Who’s better? That’s anyone’s guess.

  • Tekno

    CP will go down as one of the greatest players ever. Deron will go down as one of the greatest players of his generation.

  • Sarah

    I wouldn’t say it makes him better or worse than CP, but if you saw the Jazz against the Spurs tonight you certainly have a greater appreciation for Deron’s (ahem, and Boozer’s) importance to that team.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    FU(K ALL YOU VINCE HATERS!!!!! AND TMAC HATERS!!!!! THEM BOYS WENT OFF!

  • jay

    i personally like cp3 but deron is legit…i am small so i relate to cp3 a little better..just me..plus cp3 is a jordan guy..that helps and his patent cp3 two is legit!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Yeh…. well…. Rafer Freakin’ Alston!!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    lmao @ Tarzan. I personally prefer a big guard who can slide to the 2 spot on occcassions but people seem to believe that Paul is the better player of the two…. if you put Paul and Deron in a footrace from baseline to baseline I say dead-heat. Their statistical abilities have been beaten more than a dead horse here…

  • Keith

    Why was the fact that CP3 was ranked higher than Deron Williams in the SLAM top 50 players not mentioned? Now you’ve got me questioning whether that was even fact based…

  • http://lineofthenight.com Shannon Booher

    Tony Parker.

  • Alex

    there about as good as each other
    it just depends on the day i suppose

  • N.Pawelczyk

    DERON>CRAP>CP3
    Sorry Fellaz

    GO PISTONS

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Deron is the first guy who ever made me even consider spending money on a Utah Jazz jersey so he wins automaticly.

  • Myung

    Marvin Williams > Chris Paul > Deron Williams > Andrew Bogut

  • Myung

    I’m not biased.

  • Corey L

    Great arguments from both sides, but I’ll say that Lang had a tad bit better arguments. Fun read though.

  • angie

    i have to say deron.

  • Jared Smith

    Deron Williams is the better basketball player. meaning total player involving and running his team. sometimes he has to dumb down his game to fit the jazz scheme and getting other players going.

  • emoney12

    both guys are great but deron williams is the better PG. I mean come on the man is a straight beast. people think chris paul is better because he has had 2 do more for his team but deron is a legit all star and i ant wait 4 him 2 get rolling in the playoffs

  • http://joebasketball.blogspot.com JoeBasketball

    @Hursty, beating a dead horse is actually more fun than you’d think, it kept me entertained for hours

  • Miguel Ferreira

    I most sincerely believe that CP is right now the higher man, not that Deron isnt a good player, though CP3 makes everyone an all-star. e.g David West last year. He averages more than 11 assists per game. has excellent dribbling skills, whilst often hoisting the threes, and let us not forget his classic lay-ins and floaters.

  • Jack

    CP3′s system inflates his stats and his offensive system was made purely for him. Talent-wise I honestly don’t know who to side with, they are both great.

  • http://www.peterrobertcasey.com Peter Robert Casey

    Sick cover. That blue pops.

  • D-Rose

    im better both of their asses!!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    The argument can made for Deron, I guess. Although in my mind CP3 is better HANDS DOWN. But I gotta ask, Ryne: if Chris Paul went to Illinois, and Deron went to Wake Forest, would your position be the same?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    I mean, I think Chris Paul is better, but if Deron Williams were from Saudi Arabia, I’d probably think D-Will was better.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    That being said, I guess the most impressive quality that Deron has is that he gives the impression of being this mini-coach. He gives this vibe of being a 10-year vet.

  • cwest

    damn guys u should give tony parker a cover too… he was just amazing until he twisted his ankle…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Keith: Obviously it wasn’t.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also last night, Yao Ming pretty much dominated Dwight Howard in Houston’s win last night.
    Yao: 22 pts. 13 rebs.
    Howard: 13 pts. 9 rebs.
    What place was Yao Ming ranked again in the top 50? Hmm…

  • scott

    Yao Ming #15 and Dwight Howard #10.

  • catalan

    calderon is the 1

  • p mo

    deron is a really good player..But CP3 amazes me everytime i watch him..somethin special

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I was being sarcastic scott, you buffoon. Hopefully you all get the point. Yao Ming kicks @ss.

  • JT

    Chris Paul all the way !!!!!!!!

  • Omar Aberilla

    Deron Williams is more clutch. It’s that simple. It may not seem like much, but that’s what separates winning and losing. You give Deron the ball in crunch time and he’s got the ability to make plays without fear whatsoever. I can’t say the same about CP3. He seems to be less effective when the pressure mounts. Especially in the playoffs. Most often than not, it is his teammates making the crucial baskets. As for the Jazz, they feel comfortable calling Deron’s number because he has delivered and he will deliver. Greatness is attained by the one who delivers in pressure situations. And CP3, unfortunately, hasn’t quite stepped up to the challenge. Even with the U.S. team, it was Deron making the big plays at the end together with Kobe and Wade. CP3? Well he just did his thing, and by that I mean just taking the ball down and going through the motions. He seemed reluctant to take charge.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    lmao @ Tariq. I forgot about Ryne’s perceived bias. haha :)

  • rikson

    Ill take CP3 – and its not even close… btw: 2,3 steals for his career sounds like a pretty good defender to me.

  • jay

    CP3, deron…I like that jason kidd kidd….he’s gonna be really something in a few years.

  • http://Yahoo C@M0NRO

    These are 2 of the best point guards i’ve ever seen play, it’s hard to say who’s better…. well the numbers prove that CP3 has better stats, What they both mean to their teams goes beyond stats. In the games where the Jazz didn’t have D.Will, they struggled big time, Although their teams are not as talented as the Lakers or the Celtics, when these 2 get their teammates involved in the offense they can compete with any team in the league….

  • Fresh

    some of these points were already made but i might just rE-iitterate soome:
    The very first and biggest point to mention in this whole thing is Deron Williams is a bigger point.
    As for the Olympics Chris paul may have came in before Deron Williams, but if you watch the games it was obvious that Deron Williams played better. With or without stats this might be due to the fact that Chris Paul had better players around him that didnt require him to always have the ball in his hands. Chris Paul on the hornets is use to having the ball in his hands. As soon as he passes the ball he runs right back to get it, if they do not make a move to score.

    Deron Williams on the defense end is better beacuse because he is more focused where as Chris Paul is playig for stats. It is ivident if you watch him play lately where it looks lik he is playing for assists and the crowd. And with Paul playing for stats and the crowd he will time in and time again be picked for all star games as a starter because the fans pick. I mean Yi was almost a starter lst year and his name wasnt on the ballet. Its all the people and their bull.
    Also with Deron Williams size it wouldnt be a better suit for him in the playoffs especially for going to the finals where in the east its a slower pace game. And he would probably be more suted for the punishment towards his body as the playoffs is a lot more phyiscal, and as we know not alot of people can sustain a high of beattings for a long time.
    overall winnin career deron williams is higher went as far as cp b4 cp
    cp barely has more assist and he has the ball in his hands alll the time, even though d will dominates the ball alot chris always needs the ball…too small to be effecttive off the ball
    the other people were not better in college they jus scored more when it came down to business d will did his thing…the article says that.from ohio is better he didnt neutralize him on several occasions allthough last time they play was a good head to head match up even though d will got the better opps

  • David

    Let’s be honest and face it. New Orleans last year was basically Hubie’s 50+ win Memphis team from a few years back. Surprised some teams, players, coaches, writers, etc…but were definitely overrated. Sure, Paul’s numbers are better. But look at O.J. Mayo. He’s throwing up sick numbers in his rookie campaign. O.J. Mayo and Paul are in the same boat. They play for mediocre teams. Deron plays for the abundantly better team. I think that by the end of this season, we (and the media) will have a much better grasp of who is the better player. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that player will be D-Will.

  • blazers44

    deron all the way

  • tike

    yo anyone here Barkely and LBJ’s convo….HEATED!!

  • L Boogy

    Who wants to trade their Deron cover for my CP3 cover?? Anyone? Anyone?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wes

    Chris Paul is better by far!!! He came in 2nd place last year in the M.V.P voting behind Kobe Bryant. Deron Williams is goo though but he wasent in the M.V.P voting. As you can see Deron Williams is good but , not as good as CP3!!!

  • kibaAUS

    – Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz: “Chris Paul is a magician with the ball. At practices with Team USA, D-Will, J-Kidd, Kobe — nobody could stop him.”

  • windowlicker_son

    Made a pretty sick wallpaper with these two covers; peep this:

    http://img516.imageshack.us/my.php?image=siiiickcopygi9.jpg

  • http://n/a 007

    comparing d 2 young up and coming PG is like comparing stockton and payton. u just cant. and being in the dream team first doesn’t count either. add 10 more years to this debate. some1 better might come along within that span.

  • Slick Rick

    Right now you can’t really distinguish who is better. If you want to look at it as a physical or skill point of view I think D-will has the edge. He is bigger, stronger, BETTER SHOOTER and he’s one of the fastest guys in the league .
    As for CP3, not to take anything from him. He’s probably the fastest guy in the league while dribbling the ball, his handle is ridiculous, he has great vision and his instinct is that of a some of the best that ever done it.

  • Caleb

    Other guys who have led the league in steals:

    Micheal Jordan, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Scottie Pippen, Alvin Robertson.

    What do they have in common? Among the best defenders to ever play. Good thing you didn’t mention them!

  • Pingback: CP3 & D-Will in Slam Mag, Fantasy Hoops Update « Speech Is My Hammer…

  • cp3!

    I think that if the 2 PGs SWITCHED PLACES THEY WOULD BOTH DO WORSE THAN THE OTHER GUY. But if deron doesnt get enough possesions maybe he should rebound and steal more.also wouldnt it make sense that deron, the bigger player, gets more rebounds?cp3 has better fundamentals. both players are crazy good, but i would take chris paul over deron any day.l

    ps guards arent comfortable with thier backs to the hoop so i think if they played 1 on 1 cp3 would win. also because if they played 1 on 1 cp3 has quickness on deron

    pss great job both of you

  • David M

    In the last issue you guys had a trash talk writer who spoke of SLAM’s down to earth and unique basketball writing. I subscribe for the same reason. In the same issue however you label Chris Paul, three productive to elite seasons into his NBA career, as one of the 50 greatest player’s of all time. C’mon!
    Speaking of Elite players who are productive with the rock, what’s the consensus at Slam: Is King or Black Mamba the best player in the League.

  • vegas

    how do you know when your slam subscription is over i got this magazine but i dont know if i need to pay again

  • http://myspace brent

    CP3 is way better by far he has good passes knows what to do to win. A beast at ally opps and better basketball skills…..

  • Rocco

    Im giving to cp3 for sure. I just read a great interview with cp3 at ebmpublishing.com

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » The Fans Speak: DWill > CP3

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