Fantasy Basketball: Chris Paul Expected Back Sunday

Chris Paul
Richard Mackson USA TODAY Sports

That’s right, it’s fist-pumping time. The uber-elite fantasy option that is Chris Paul is expected to start for the Clippers this Sunday in their game against the lowly 76ers. Prior to his knee-grabbing tumble, Paul was clearly the best fantasy option in the point guard class and a top-5 all-around fantasy talent. It’ll be good to have you back, CP3.

The Clippers haven’t exactly skipped a beat since losing Paul, ranking second in offensive efficiency behind the Mavs since Jan. 4, when Paul went down. A lot of that has to do with Blake Griffin‘s transcendent play but also that L.A.’s bag of shooters are lighting it up over the past five weeks. Darren Collison is hitting 46.5 percent of this threes. J.J. Redick is at 44.8 percent. Jamal Crawford follows him with 40.2 percent. Next is Byron Mullens at 37.5 percent. It keeps going with Willie Green making 35.3 percent of his downtown heaves. Jared Dudley (who has been on the trade block) is shooting a moderate 34.0 percent. Even Hedo Turkoglu – remember him? – is making 33.3 percent of his snipes. That efficiency won’t keep up at this clip with CP3 back, because he tends to dominate the ball too much, but is certainly a fantasy feast waiting to happen.

Before the Clips hit their offensive stride, Chris Paul was already averaging 11.2 assists per game. In fact, it’s been the second-best assists year of his career for the future Hall of Famer and six years removed since he averaged his career best of 11.6 assists per game. And he was doing this on a team that was still feeling itself out after taking on new offensive weapons (and losing Eric Bledsoe).

If the Clips can continue to shine from three, and Griffin can keep up his brilliance, Paul will certainly be in line for improving on his already gaudy season numbers of 19.6 Points Per Game, 11.2. Assists Per Game, 4.6 Rebounds Per Game, 2.4 Steals Per Game, on 47.2 percent shooting. As it stands, the Clippers have 83.2 percent of their three-pointers made assisted. Chris Paul has an assist percentage this year of 51.0 percent, so anytime he’s on the hardwood he’s accounting for more than half of his team’s completed assists. On a team that has this type of range, in this type of rhythm, and who has three-pointers make up 23.0 percent of its offense, Paul might end up impressing even more than he already has.

Since Paul has been practicing, and no major setback has been reported during his recovery, he could have his first crack at otherworldly numbers this weekend. Who needs the Super Bowl when you have the Super Paul back to his old self?

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