Has anyone in NBA history got a bigger pass on being a bonafied star and choking when it matters most than Chris Paul? His teams have blown five 2-0 series lead – an NBA record.
As Minnesota Timberwolves guard Pat Beverly, who woke up and chose violence this morning on ESPN’s GET Up stated, “Nobody is scared of Phoenix. Chris Paul can’t guard anybody. He’s like a traffic cone.”
Many think this was CP3’s last chance at winning a championship after 17 years in the league. Although he’s 37 years old and can still pass the rock like none other, the Western Conference is filled with young stars and fire power. One of the Suns’ youngest stars, Deondra Ayton who is expecting a max contract this offseason, was benched in the second half of Sunday’s embarrassing game-seven loss to the Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks didn’t operate in a drop coverage in Sunday’s 123-90 win – forcing CP3 to his left and making him look every bit of his age. Paul shot 65 percent against mismatches during the regular season, but during the playoffs where coaches are given more opportunities to make adjustments from game to game, he seemed to lose several steps. That was not just due to coaching, but also the personnel on the floor. Jalen Brunson continuously posted Paul up on the low block, finishing with 34 points and Reggie Bullock played stellar perimeter defense on both Booker and Paul.
Chris Paul didn’t seem like himself since Phoenix headed to Dallas with a commanding 2-0 lead. In the last five games Chris Paul averaged just 9.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 turnovers per game. While on the floor last night Chris Paul was a -39 – the worst of any game during his career, regular season or playoffs according to ESPN.
Winning the most regular season games and competing in the NBA finals a year ago don’t mean a single thing with how competitive the Western conference is. Chris Paul has some pivotal future decisions. His best bet is to join a contender in the Eastern Conference and take a paycut, because the answer certainly isn’t in the Western conference or Phoenix Suns.