Karl-Anthony Towns shuts down Chris Paul on perimeter in demonstration of human evolution

Karl-Anthony Towns showed some flashes of improved defense against the Rockets. (AP)

The NBA gives fans almost nightly reminders of how quickly evolution of the human body takes place at elite levels.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a frequent contributor to those reminders, provided one of those moments on Thursday against the Houston Rockets.

Towns, Minnesota’s 7-foot center who often does absurd things while running fast breaks or shooting 42 percent from three-point distance, is known as an offensive prodigy. He’s a big man with the skills and quickness of a guard.

[Stream the NFL Playoffs live on the Yahoo Sports mobile app]

His defensive prowess, however, is up for debate and has been criticized by analysts and players alike. Maybe that criticism has hit home. He appeared to take it out on Rockets point guard Chris Paul on a defensive switch in the first half Thursday.

That is one of the premier ball handlers in the history of the game facing a one-on-one matchup against a 7-footer. Paul is supposed to win that battle every time.

For good measure, Towns added some outstanding, albeit more traditional big-man defense with this stuff of P.J. Tucker later in the half.

NBA, beware if Towns is going to raise the level of his defense to match his offense.