The Phoenix Suns, which are challenging for the championship, suffered a major power loss.
According to Shams Charania of 『The Athletic』, Phoenix’s ‘CP3’ Chris Paul (guard, 183cm, 79kg) suffered a groin injury.
He was injured in the second game of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets held on the 2nd (Korean time). Injured during the game, he was unable to play the rest of his game. He subsequently underwent an overhaul, but was scheduled for a reexamination one week later. In fact, it is expected that it will be difficult to complete the remaining schedule of this series.
First of all, you need to take the test again after 1 week. With this, he was confirmed to be absent from the 3rd game to the 5th game. Already, Phoenix lost 97-87 to Denver in the last two games. In the last game, they lost by a whopping 18 points. Phoenix, who scored as many as 125 points even without going into overtime, was on the verge of being eliminated as it lost until the second game.
Even though the 3rd and 4th games are held in Phoenix’s home room, Paul’s inability to play is a fatal blow in many ways. There was a lot of bleeding in the recruitment of Durant, and the player base was thin. Terrence Ross was brought in after the trade deadline passed, but it is rarely used due to limitations in defense. In other words, Paul’s departure from Phoenix, which is highly dependent on the main player, is quite painful.
He recorded 9.5 points (.429 .200 .—), 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 28.9 minutes over two games in the series. He didn’t play much time in the second game right away, so he didn’t have much time to play. However, in the 6 playoff games, excluding the game on this day, he averaged 13.2 points (.420 .321 .500), 5 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 2 steals in 37.5 minutes. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
Since he is already in his late 30s, it was not easy to perform with high purity, scoring an average of 18 points or more like in his prime. Plus, currently, Phoenix often leans on Durant and Booker’s one-on-one offense. It is not easy for Paul to show a leading appearance in attack. Nevertheless, the weakening of Phoenix’s power, which he will not be able to step forward in the middle of this series right now, is expected to be clear.
First and foremost, Phoenix coach Munty Williams barely used his bench power during this playoff run. It stands out in this series. Cameron Payne, who did not play during the game in the last game, was judged to be unwell. However, as the score gap widened, he stepped onto the court. In other words, he didn’t make wide use of his existing power and it led to a burden on Paul.
Meanwhile, Paul could not avoid the brutality of playoff injuries this time as well. He also missed the 2019 Western Conference Finals with a leg injury. At the time, the Houston Rockets, led by Paul, had a 3-2 lead over the Golden State Warriors. However, Houston, with Paul injured at the end of Game 5, was unable to take the series.
In the past two years, Phoenix’s power has been outstanding, but it has not surpassed other teams. In 2021, Paul won the Western Conference championship for the first time in his career and advanced to the Finals. However, they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the finals. Last season, it boasted the highest win rate in the West, but failed to advance past the Western Semifinals. This time, we gathered expectations with Durant’s addition, but the injury came out again.