Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday’s rebellion against obsolescence

The cry of inevitability to all that one particular person makes a “great team” is almost always exaggerated – championships are hard to win and a “do you want to play together?” the group text from a future Hall of Famer to two other future Hall of Famers ultimately does not change this fact. But that’s lost in the moment for most of us, because what’s almost as difficult as winning a championship is imagining Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden losing a seven-game streak. or assume that a team whose second best player is Anthony Davis has won. will not play in June.

The heaviest NBA teams do something about the way we look at the contender landscape that frustrates us more than the notion of great players joining forces; they seemingly obsolete a level of masterfully skilled players. We spend a lot of time talking about what makes these players a pleasure to watch in their own way, but what does it all matter if it’s less than what a couple of famous guys can face? famous first and foremost for being amazingly good at basketball? Take out Ben Simmons’ realistic chances of playing a pivotal role in destroying the Nets and you’re left with memes.

But it’s also a misnomer, and Chris Paul, 36, and Jrue Holiday, 30, are the most likely candidates to prove why this year. Whether Paul and Holiday have reached or surpassed the peak of their playing careers, they finally have what they always needed to contribute to a championship cause. You see, they’re both machines in their own right; consistent from quarter to quarter, not wanting to give in to someone who can do more. Holiday will reinforce a two-time reigning MVP, and Paul has convinced a young lottery team that they should be more afraid of letting him down than LeBron James.

The not-so-quick lazy warning against buying a “super team” is that there is only one basketball. The implication here is that the members of said super team are selfish or have such a big ego that they don’t know how to let someone else play the biggest role every night. This assumption is more often wrong than correct, But have only a bullet plays a role in why Holiday and Paul can watch a barrage of superstars and see a fair fight.

It might seem like Durant, Harden, and Irving are too much firepower to contain (and that could turn out to be true), but only one of them manages to make the basket (maybe another can get the assist) in a given possession, then they must return the ball to the other team. Holiday’s role as a partner with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton heading into the playoffs is to expose the unlikely of the Nets trio becoming an avalanche of baskets totaling 95 points from three players. .

If you feel like the Bucks Championship window is closed, as if winning a title were to happen in a season where Antetokounmpo won an MVP, then you’re avoiding the fact that Holiday didn’t show up to camp. ‘training hoping he could live up to it. the very effective offensive flow that Mike Budenholzer brought out of Malcolm Brogdon and Jeff Teague. He is neither of those players. He’s a guy who spends the season sharpening his defensive chops in an effort to force Harden or Irving to brick just enough possessions while still pointing the unstoppable force wearing the same jersey as him like “why not call?” If Holiday wins 33 points and 11 assists, it doesn’t matter where you rank him on your list of the best NBA players.

Paul, on the other hand, seemed never to figure out how to go from a maniacal jerk obsessed with victory to a semblance of leadership. He never really understood that DeAndre Jordan couldn’t really get better than him no matter how much you yelled at him, and publicly debasing him would probably make him a little worse. The leaders Paul always seemed so close to transforming – LeBron, Duncan, Dirk, Dame – got this enough to get the crisper version of their teammates. Ultimately, the top three just wanted teams full of veterans who more or less knew how to do their job, and Dame is looking for someone outside of her backcourt mate who is good enough to even score.

Paul didn’t really learn this trait. He has just found himself in a young and talented team to manage his barking with enthusiasm. DeAndre Ayton, Cam Johnson, and Mikal Bridges can and will improve, and they might as well go and stand exactly where Paul tells them because he really knows what he’s talking about. Devin Booker always seemed to have the same amount of jerk in him as Paul did, and you suspect he doesn’t like the way Paul claps his hands to tell him to hurry up and attack the ball, but it does. is ultimately the guy who defends. Booker who has to pay the price, and Paul surely loves all the dynamics.

The things you can’t really count on have to be okay for the Suns to stay with the Lakers or Jazz. Jae Crowder needs to make three points. Frank Kaminsky must look like he’s playing the same sport as Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert. But if the Suns are up four points on nobody with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter, Booker and Paul are an absolute nightmare. Lebron, Luka, Kawhi. Jokic; there’s not much either of them can do when Paul knows he’s two steps away from winning the game. Booker can ice a playoff series with a stab from anywhere on the field, but it’s Paul, and maybe only Paul, who can get away with slapping LeBron’s forearm on the way of a clutch flight.

Faced with a talent differential, they say you ‘have yet to play the game’. You don’t have to tell Holiday or Paul that. They’ve been playing the game for years, and even if you stop thinking of them as realistic contenders, only they might not be shocked if they compete for the NBA Finals.

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