Tuesday, August 26, 2008

World Domination (a la Chris Paul)

Unless you just woke up from a coma, you probably caught at least one Olympic event over the past few weeks. I'm hoping you were able to catch some of the men's basketball tournament. And -- if you only saw one game -- I hope it was Sunday's gold medal match between Spain and the United States of America. Team USA outlasted the Spaniards 118-107 in one of the most exciting basketball games in Olympic history. Both teams looked great, and they were on pace at halftime (when the US led 69-61) to set an Olympic record for points scored.

Not surprisingly, the Hornets' own Chef Paul was a key component of the Redeem Team. Over eight games, he posted averages of 8.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.4 rpg, and 1.8 spg. He shot exactly 50% (19/38) from the field, and he was money from the free throw line at 91.7% (22/24). His two best games were against Spain. In the USA's fourth game during preliminary play, CP13 had 14 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. In the gold medal game, he posted 13 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. More important than any stat I could track were two things: his composure on the court and his control of the tempo in these games. He and Dwyane Wade were always the first two players off the bench for Coach K. And they always pushed the lead out of the opponents' reach (or regained control when the starters had slipped up).

And don't think his contributions have gone unnoticed. In an interview about his Olympic experience, Kobe "The DoberMamba" Bryant was asked which teammate impressed him the most. I'll bet you can guess his answer. Over at the Times Pic, John DeShazier has an article about how proud all of New Orleans is to have CP representing our city and our team. And Dime Magazine has an interview with the Golden Child himself. Congratulations to Chris and the rest of Team USA on winning Gold. Now, let's go try to get excited about tennis and baseball until the season starts.

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