Chris Paul hates the Warriors. It was that way when he was in Los Angeles and surely some of that hatred remains now that he’s with the Rockets. Paul is also the last non-LeBron James star to beat the Warriors in the playoffs — when his Clippers ousted them in the first round in 2014.
In Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, Paul found himself matched up against Stephen Curry. The two guards went at it, but Paul came out on top after he delivered a devastating dribble move to leave Curry on the ground. However, was it the dribble move that put Curry down to the ground, or did Paul use a subtle shove to get his defender off?
The initial angle makes it look like it’s all Paul. Yes, his arm does extend, but Curry is already off balance from the initial move that Paul makes. Then there’s the other angle. One that isn’t so favorable to Paul.
This one shows a full extension from Paul’s offhand proceeded by Curry going down to the ground. That could easily be seen as a shove on Paul’s part and it’s a move that he’s made devastating. Paul often pushes off, but he’s so subtle about it that most refs don’t see the full extent of his push-off.
This one might depend on the person watching. Supporters of Paul will say that he used his dribble to get Curry off balance and the arm extension was Curry selling contact. Others will say it’s an obvious push-off on Paul’s part. That’s the thing about basketball sometimes. Everything happens so fast that even something like a shove can have a gray area.