Moore: Will Chris Paul Dish out More Than 8.5 Assists in Miami?

Dec 20, 2018 4:45 PM EST
Credit:

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Paul

  • Chris Paul's assist prop for Thursday's Rockets-Heat matchup has been set just above his season average.
  • Which side of the 8.5 over/under has value? Matt Moore breaks it down.

Don’t tell anyone what I’m about to say — it’s been talked about in basketball nerd circles, and Rockets fans are painfully aware. We’re just trying to keep it under the radar with due respect for a legend.

But … Chris Paul has been really bad this season.

Let’s start at the team level. Last season, the Rockets outscored opponents by 13.2 points per 100 possessions with Paul on the floor. This season? That’s down to 1.6. Paul is still in the black, but barely.

Then there’s the shooting. Paul is shooting a career-low 41.6% from the field, the second-worst mark of his career from 2-point range (46.4%) and the fourth-worst mark of his career from 3-point range (35.8%). He’s even missing free throws (80.9%).

This is a guy who has consistently flirted with the 50-40-90 club having bad performances relative to his career in all three shooting areas.

But wait, there’s more! He’s also currently averaging his third-worst assists per game average at 8.2. Granted, that’s up from last season, and an indicator of sharing the floor with James Harden.

That’s what makes Paul’s assists prop for Thursday’s game against the Heat so interesting. Our FantasyLabs player props tool gives the under on 8.5 assists a bet quality of 8 (out of 10), projecting only 7.1 assists.

Do we have X’s and O’s reasons to buy in on that?