Charles Barkley defends Chris Paul against brutal criticism

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Despite his huge talent, Chris Paul has received plenty of criticism over the course of his NBA career thus far.

Paul is one of the top point guards in the NBA, but it seems that every time the Los Angeles Clippers have been knocked out of the playoffs in recent years, the star baller gets the brunt of the criticism.

It is probably fair in some ways. Paul is after all the leader for the Clippers on the court. The amount of time Paul touches the ball suggests that he is integral to everything the Clippers do.

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Paul not to blame

But to blame the 29-year-old baller for all of the playoff failings in recent years and suggesting he needs to go further in the playoffs to prove himself is certainly harsh, and NBA legend Charles Barkley more than agrees with that notion.

Barkley was on a conference call with GiveMeSport this week, and in the call the former Phoenix Suns star stated his support for Chris Paul. Barkley insists that the reason the Clippers haven't gone deep in the post-season in the last several years is nothing to do with Paul's ability.

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"The reason the Clippers lose [in the playoffs] has nothing to do with Chris Paul. Other than Steph Curry this year, Chris Paul has been the best point guard with Tony Parker for the last five years," Barkley explained on the call with GiveMeSport.

"Chris is not the reason why the Clippers have not advanced in the past. I mean he is not even close [to being the reason], but I guess we have to blame somebody.

"That's the way it is when you're a star. When you don't win people criticize you, but Chris Paul is the best leader in the NBA."

Time to shine?

The truth is, this actually might be Paul and the Clippers' season to right all of the wrongs of previous playoff failures.

Currently, the Clippers have a 1-0 series lead over last season's NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs.

Even though LA are looking like a good shout for the title this season, Barkley believes they are only one of seven teams that can potentially clinch the title in one of the most open championships in decades.

"I have no idea who is going to win the championship. This is the most convoluted that I have ever seen the NBA," Barkley added. "I genuinely think there are seven different teams that can realistically win the title."

Do you agree with Barkley's opinions on Chris Paul and the NBA playoffs? Let us know in the comments box below.

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