Injuries seem to pop up at the worst time for point god Chris Paul. Three years ago, when he was with the Houston Rockets, Paul hurt his hamstring and lost the chance to take part in Game 6 and 7 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. He had to watch on the sidelines as the Rockets famously missed 27-straight three point shots in Game 7 and get sent home.
With a 3-2 lead in the series at the time, there is no doubt that Paul would have made a key difference in those final two games. Had he been able to play, we could have been looking at the Rockets winning the title in 2018.
Now, at age 36 and playing with the second seeded Phoenix Suns, bad injury luck has hit him again, and this time it looks like a shoulder injury.
It sucks to see, especially as it happened in the first game of the postseason. Even a competitor like LeBron James, who would definitely have a better chance to make it to the second round without Paul, was concerned enough to come over and help his old friend up.
Paul struggled after returning to the court later in the game, and finished with six points, four rebounds, eights assists, a steal and a block. Hobbled as he was, he still managed to move up to 18th in the all-time playoff assists charts.
At least Suns fans can take solace in how confident Paul was about coming back strong in the next game during his postgame interview.
The Suns still held on to the 99-90 victory and went up by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter thanks to Devin Booker’s 34 points, seven rebounds and eight assists – a stunning playoff debut for a talented young star. It just sucks that his amazing performance has been overshadowed with concerns about how his backcourt mate is going to look moving forward.
As a basketball fan, I hope Paul recovers, and I also hope that LeBron James and Anthony Davis stay healthy considering the injury struggles they’ve faced this season. The Suns, Lakers, and all of us NBA fans deserve the chance to watch these two teams battle each other at full strength.