Updated: December 20, 2011, 7:09 PM ET

Player Profiles: Chris Paul

By John Hollinger
ESPN.com
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Paul

• Phenomenal ball handler and pick-and-roll operator who never loses dribble.
• Improved outside shooter. Can score but penetrates to pass. Makes free throws.
• Defensive ball hawk. Tough but size problematic on close-outs. Knees a worry.

Paul led the league in PER for a while last season and finished sixth overall in the category, ahead of MVP Derrick Rose. There's no question he's an amazing player, and under his guidance the Hornets had the league's best crunch-time offense over the past half-decade.

That said, it appears PER slightly overrates Paul based on his assists. Emphasis on slightly. New Orleans' scorekeepers sometimes acted as if their raison d'etre is to pad Paul's assist total and tracking the score of the game is secondary; he averaged 10.7 assists per game at home last season and just 8.8 on the road, the most egregious split yet in a pretty wide disparity throughout his career. (Except, that is, for his rookie year in Oklahoma City -- when he averaged 7.9 assists at home and 7.8 on the road.)

In what is likely a related story, Paul was near the bottom of the list in a stat I created called "assist quality" (see Baron Davis and LeBron James comments). The average assist is worth two-thirds of a point; assist quality figures the marginal value of a Paul assist was more like 0.60 points because so many of them led to midrange jumpers instead of layups and 3s.

Read more Hollinger player profiles Insider

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