Chris Paul Makes NBA History As He Carries The Suns Into The Second Round
Well, that series was awesome. Usually, a 1 v 8 matchup is quick work. I'm talking 4 or 5 games as it's mostly just a tuneup for the top seed. We've had upsets sure, who could forget the We Believe Warriors, the 99 Knicks, the 2011 Grizzlies or 2012 Sixers, but it's not exactly something I would say that you expect to see once the playoffs roll around. That was the case with the pesky Pelicans and the devastating Suns only something magical happened. We got an actual series. The second Devin Booker went down this series suddenly had a chance to go the distance. Time after time the Pelicans fought back, often times being the actual aggressors which was certainly a welcome surprise. Suddenly the idea that they could protect their home floor and force a coin flip Game 7 wasn't so far fetched.
This is in large part because of the leap Brandon Ingram has made. Pretty good playoff debut if we're being honest. Averaged nearly 30 a game on 48/42% splits while making play after play in huge moments down the stretch of pretty much every game this entire series. Tonight for example he led the way with 21/5/11 including 9 in the 4th quarter. You add in the showings of Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, Tre Murphy, and the Pelicans have a lot to be proud of. They entered this tournament as a 9 seed who had to win 2 games just to make the dance. To then take a team like the Suns to 6 games and be there right to the end is impressive as hell. Hell of a run from a team that's going to be pretty damn good rather quickly.
But this blog is about Chris Paul.
Given how last season went, there's a decent amount of pressure on Paul and the Suns to reach the top of the mountain. They've been the best team in basketball for 2 years now, killing everything in their path. That team can't lose to an 8 seed. You want to talk about a playoff choke, hard to do worse than a 1 seed losing to an 8 seed. So what does Paul do? In the first closeout chance he got he made NBA history
To put it simply, Paul put on a clinic. If you were curious as to why people refer to him as one of the best point guards to ever play the game, this game is a pretty good example. Never in a rush, gets to whatever spot he wants and when the game gets tight he finds a way to raise his game even more. Let's not forget Paul was one of the best clutch players in the entire league this season. He shot 56.8/40.0% in clutch time situations during the regular season while being a +4.0 which just so happens to be atop the league as well for players that actually play. It should be no surprise then that Paul went a perfect 4-4 for 10 points in tonight's final frame. Every time the Suns needed a back breaking bucket, he was there. When it came time to find Devin Booker, he made the perfect pass
I know people hate Chris Paul, and I get it. For me though, I just love watching all time greats do cool shit in the playoffs. I think it's awesome to watch an old as shit Chris Paul dominate the NBA in 2022. This isn't exactly normal so I say appreciate the moment. Maybe part of me just wants him to win one at some point given how incredible his career has been and how they collapsed last year. Sort of like how it was pretty cool when the Spurs came back and avenged their collapse with a title over the Heat.
You could immediately see after the game how much the Suns respect the Pelicans and Willie Green, a coach they all obviously have a relationship with
but they have their sights set on something bigger. They now wait to see who wins the DAL/UTA game tonight, and I don't know about you but I am very much into the idea of a DAL/PHX series. No offense to the Jazz but even they know the people don't want to see them advance. Give us Luka vs CP3/Booker. Kidd being a former Suns legend. It's too perfect.