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After taking on and taking out Deron Williams (and Jerry Sloan) on Wednesday night, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose will match-up against another one of the game’s elites tonight: the Hornets’ Chris Paul. Rose has already put together a strong case for the MVP award this season by lifting his team to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference despite injuries to his two best teammates and now he is making an argument to be considered the top point guard in the league.
He dropped 29 points and seven assists on Williams with two huge defensive stops on him in the final minutes of the game to seal the win (on top of holding him to just 11 points on 13 shots with five turnovers). A similar performance against Paul will give Rose a lot of momentum in barbershop back-and-forth’s over the NBA’s best point man. Paul may be a bit more of a hassle for Rose to guard because of his quickness whereas Williams likes to take advantage of his strength on other guards, which doesn’t work against a bull like Rose.
Then again, Paul has been less agressive with his drive this season and has been passive overall. This game will not be the defining factor in a Rose-Paul-Williams debate but it will certainly be a fun one to watch and it will tell us if Rose is at least worthy of being considered on the level of the elites.