The postseason hasn’t always been kind to Chris Paul. In fact, it’s fair to say that injuries have haunted the veteran point guard in postseason play on multiple occasions. He sustained injuries in both the 2015 and 2016 NBA playoffs. Paul was also hampered by a hamstring injury in his first conference finals appearance back in 2018.
So when Paul suffered a shoulder contusion in the team’s first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, it could have been a case of “Here we go again.” Especially since this injury limited him to just 9.2 points per contest on 38.1 percent shooting from the field.
Despite the rough start to the postseason, Chris Paul has bounced back quite nicely. In the first two games against the Denver Nuggets, he scored 21 and 17 points, respectively. The stat line from Game 2 included a whopping 15 assists without a single turnover. The third time Paul has accomplished this feat in his career.
But the feel-good story doesn’t end there for Paul. In Game 3, he scored 27 points, to go along with six rebounds and eight assists. He followed that up with another spectacular performance in the series finale. In that game, he tallied 37 points, three rebounds, eight assists and two steals. He shot an efficient 14-for-19 from the field and made all nine of his free throws.
During the four-game set against the Nuggets, Paul compiled averages of 25.5 points, 10.3 assists, and five rebounds per contest. And from an efficiency standpoint, he shot 61.8 percent from the floor and 58 percent from beyond the arc. Yes, that’s right, 58 percent from 3-point range.
It’s safe to say that Paul has been able to shake off the shoulder injury and his uptick in production is proof of that. Because of age and the injuries he’s suffered in multiple playoff series, Paul felt like some media outlets were had written him off.
For those of us who thought that the game had passed Chris Paul by, here are few things to remember. He played an integral role in helping a Suns team make it to the playoffs. This is significant because the team had not been the playoffs since the 2009-10 season.
Paul also finished fifth in MVP voting this season. No small feat, to say the least. Even more important, his resurgence has coincided with the Suns earning their first conference finals appearance in 11 years. And with every remaining team in the postseason looking beatable, Paul and the Suns have more than an outside chance at winning the title.