OKC Thunder: Chris Paul makes cut on Bill Simmons top 25 playoff list

Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder looks on in the first quarter. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder looks on in the first quarter. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder point guard Chris Paul gets plenty of attention from Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe on the best 25 playoff performers currently.

For hoops heads who can’t get enough information or opinions about the NBA and the OKC Thunder, you already know Bill Simmons’ weekly podcast is a must-listen experience.

Simmons BS podcasts that feature Zach Lowe and Ryen Russillo as guests are always favorites for yours truly. The recent February 28th podcast with  Zach Lowe finds Simmons and the scribe breaking down which 25 players are most important over the next four months.

This isn’t to be confused with the top 25 players in the league. Rather, the onus is on which players are the most essential right now as teams build momentum, gain specific playoff berths and then carry it over into the postseason.

The top four aren’t that surprising as Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are the players listed in the very top tier.

You might grapple with some of these picks and move Luka Doncic into the top four based on how much he’ll need to do for the Mavericks to succeed. But, ultimately everyone will have their arguments for why certain players should be higher or lower — or didn’t make the cut.

I don’t want to spoil the listing because this truly is a podcast worth experiencing in its entirety. However, what Thunderous intentions did want to share was the segments that touch on Chris Paul.

The duo touches on CP3 throughout the podcast in terms of his placement on the list of 25 and he’s the ONLY player they mutually decide needs to be moved higher. The latter situation arises after they discuss the All-Star Game fourth quarter and Paul’s brilliant performance.

If you read my post-game takes on the All-Star Game or the power rankings you’ll note both Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry were my picks as the two teams most important performers in that fourth quarter.

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Simmons and Lowe had a similar opinion so much so that the initial spot where Simmons placed Paul was drastically upgraded after this discussion.

This was based on the fact CP3 is someone who you simply don’t have to worry about under pressure at game end. Hey, he’s not the clutch time king for no reason!

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Later, the pair refer to Paul’s plant-based diet and throughout the podcast bring up how several other players either should or will eventually end up following Paul’s lead based on his resurgence this season.

The final point they discuss is what Sam Presti will do with Paul this offseason. Simmons asks Lowe to offer three teams Sam Presti should consider to trade CP3 to if they elect to go that direction this offseason.

Not surprisingly the Miami Heat is always going to be in this conversation but the other two landing spots might surprise you. Again, I won’t give away the gold – but it’s an intriguing discussion.

From Thunder fans standpoint the most intriguing part of this segment is what isn’t discussed — i.e. who would the teams Lowe suggest be sending back in return. It’s definitely something T.I. will dive into further.

Although I suggest you listen to the podcast from the start for those looking to skip to the OKC Thunder – Chris Paul’s sections they are primarily located at the 1:11 point of the podcast forward.

Do you agree with Paul’s placement? Should other Thunder players make the list? And if not how close are some of the other current players to be in the next list of best 25 playoff guys?

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Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.