Friday , Oct , 24 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Less is more: why New Orleans Hornets must reduce Chris Paul’s minutes

Less is more. This saying applies to NBA teams who must limit their star’s minutes to preserve health and better their chances in the post-season.
New Orleans’ Chris Paul is the perfect example. After dropping 21 points and 12 assists in 2007-08, leading his team against San Antonio in a classic seven game series, and emerging as a ‘legit’ MVP candidate, the temptation is to give the tiny table-setter heavy minutes …


Less is more: why New Orleans Hornets must reduce Chris Paul's minutesLess is more. This saying applies to NBA teams who must limit their star’s minutes to preserve his health and better their chances in the post-season.

New Orleans’ Chris Paul is the perfect example. After dropping 21 points and 12 assists in 2007-08, leading his team against San Antonio in a classic seven game series, and emerging as a ‘legit’ MVP candidate, the temptation is to give the tiny table-setter heavy minutes.

After all, ‘CP3’ and the Hornets are under-the-gun to deliver. Many have speculated a slow start or off year could hinder New Orleans’ fan support and the organization’s momentum.

But the club must protect their asset by limiting Paul’s minutes and giving him additional days off through the year. Last year’s competitive regular season, playoff grind, and summer with Team USA is bound to take its toll.

Fortunately, Coach Byron Scott understands the modern player and has forced his franchise face to rest throughout training camp. The former Laker should go one step further and cut Paul’s minutes from 37 (his 2007-08 average) to around 35 per night. This would keep him fresh for the playoffs.

Problem is the Hornets lack a true backup. Mike James is a scorer, while Morris Peterson and Devin Brown are suited for the wing, not the one-spot. The best fit was Jannero Pargo, who went the Europe route as a free agent.

So Scott has three options. He could anoint James, Peterson, or Brown as the second-string point guard, rotate all three in a platoon, or go outside the organization and acquire a reserve.

Another concern is home-court advantage. The west is so competitive reducing Paul’s playing time, even by a few minutes, could be the difference between winning and losing the conference. This would mean a deciding playoff game is on the road instead of at home.

Still, Scott must seriously consider the less is more philosophy. Home-court is useless with a tired or injured star. Preserving Paul for the playoffs and long-term has to be the priority.

Should New Orleans reduce Paul’s regular season minutes for the playoffs? Let us know in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of coursond34.