Paul’s micromanaging and love of set plays will certainly eat into Harden’s league-leading 37.0 usage rate and probably his assist totals, but sacrifices must be made to attain NBA championship immortality.
Paul’s return could also complicate Eric Gordon’s breakout start to the season. Without Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Paul to siphon off his touches, Gordon’s started the last 13 games for which he’s been active, a needed shift after the former Indiana standout earned Sixth Man of the Year honors and served a perfect off-ball complement to Harden (when his shot is falling).
However, the acquisition of Paul was a move made for the grind of late April, May and June, when teams can exploit weaknesses over the course of a seven-game series and fatigue Harden past his limit. Don’t be fooled by Houston’s record in mid-November. Gordon is prone to cold streaks and can be a one-trick pony when his shot isn’t falling.
sacrifices n. 献祭; 祭品; 牺牲; 舍身; v. 牺牲，献出
exploit [ɪkˈsplɔɪt] vt. 开拓; 剥削; 开采; 利用（…为自己谋利）; n. 功绩; 功劳; 勋绩;