Going into the playoffs, the Suns were the overwhelming championship favorite . However, after Devin Booker’s injury in Game 2, the Suns are are tied 2-2 with the 8th seeded New Orleans Pelicans. While the Pelicans have talent, including Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas (not including Zion Williamson since he hasn’t played), the Suns should at least be winning these games with Booker, not to mention putting up a fight. Last night, Phoenix lost 118-103 in New Orleans, mainly due to their defensive abilities on Chris Paul, who was held to just 4 points on 2-8 shooting.
This was even more surprising consider the fact that Chris Paul is 9th in the NBA in win shares and Mikal Bridges is 11th. So, Phoenix is having trouble beating an 8th seed, while having 2 of the top 15 players in the NBA, statistically, at how they impact their team’s winning success! If the Suns end up losing this series, this will be a stain on Chris Paul’s resume that will not go away. Paul is supposed to be playing to a higher standard. Chris Paul’s biggest tear on his resume is his championships, which say 0. If Chris Paul’s not able to be the #1 player on a team to beat the 8th seed, than that puts more of a tear on his resume.
As a big Chris Paul fan, I think this is going to happen. I think New Orleans will win this series. Ingram and McCollum are 2 very talented scorers and Chris Paul’s defense will not be able to guard that. I think his age is going to affect his ability to adjust in a big moment like this. The only way I see Phoenix winning this series is if Deandre Ayton plays well. Now, I can see this happening. But if the Suns don’t win like I expect, while it won’t be all Paul’s fault because of Booker’s injury, it will put a stain on his resume that can never go away!
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