Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul could be closing in on that elusive NBA championship
Chris Paul has the Phoenix Suns playing like a true NBA championship contender, at just the right time.
Since he entered the league back in 2005, Chris Paul has always possessed the ability to undoubtedly improve the teams around him. The Phoenix Suns knew that Paul would be a major asset to their young and talented roster and acquired him during the offseason to play alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges.
Now up 3-0 in the Western Conference semifinals series against the Denver Nuggets, it appears that acquiring Paul is now paying huge dividends as the Suns look to try and advance to their first NBA Finals since 1993 after finally making it back to the postseason after an 11-year absence.
Chris Paul has paid dividends for the Phoenix Suns
Wherever Paul has played, his teams have had immediate success and vastly improved. The Suns went from not qualifying for the postseason last year to earning the No. 2 seed in the West, all largely due to Paul and his chemistry with the team. After last season’s impressive showing going undefeated in the bubble, the Suns knew that they were maybe a piece or two away from becoming contenders.
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When Paul became available, they took advantage and pounced on the opportunity knowing that adding a player of Paul’s pedigree would give the team a player who knows what it takes to win and a player who is in pursuit of an NBA Title and willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
With his incredible court vision and skillset on both ends of the floor, Paul is an extension of a head coach on the floor and has been the engine that fuels the Suns. After so many letdowns and disappointments in the playoffs, Paul hopes that this is the year he finally can compete for a ring.
In the 2016 NBA playoffs, Paul’s LA Clippers squad faced off against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. After the Clippers went up 2-0 in the series, they ended up losing four straight as Paul suffered a hand injury and was forced to sit out Game 5 and 6.
Even more disappointing was the 2018 loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors when Paul was a member of the Houston Rockets. Up 3-2 in that series and appearing that the Rockets had the series in control and all but wrapped up, Paul suffered a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter of Game 5 which unfortunately sidelined him for Game 6 and 7.
The Rockets went on to lose that series and with that loss, the hopes of an NBA Finals appearance eluded Paul once again. Often snake bitten by injuries throughout his career especially during inopportune times in the postseason, Paul hopes to avoid getting hurt this time around.
During the Suns’ first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Paul did suffer what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury at the time but shook it off and came back stronger than ever. Paul has led the Suns to five-straight double-digit wins as he has the Suns offense running on all cylinders while leading a very balanced attack with six players averaging double figures in scoring as the Suns are outscoring the Nuggets by a margin of 18.7 points per game.
It’s very impressive how far along Paul has brought this team, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them in the NBA Finals a few weeks from now. Paul has made a huge difference due to the fact that he can make plays off the dribble either for himself or his teammates and doesn’t commit costly turnovers as he is one of the best at protecting the ball.
These are the obvious reasons the Suns are shining in these playoffs as Paul looks to continue that the Suns continue to do just that on their quest for a title.