The Phoenix Suns won the Western Conference Championship last year and sit atop the standings by a wide margin this year as of March 2. They are, however, missing their leader, point guard, and floor general in Chris Paul, who’s now sidelined with an injury.
What happened to CP3, and when can Phoenix expect him back?
Chris Paul has played a key part in the Phoenix Suns’ success this year
The Suns have a comfortable lead in the West, and Paul has played a vital part.
CP3’s squad is fourth in the NBA in scoring, sixth in points allowed, seventh in rebounding, and fifth in assists. Paul himself is averaging 14.9 points — third on the team — and 4.5 rebounds and 10.7 assists.
Even at 36 years old, the 6-foot point guard leads the league in dimes.
But his averages will stay where they are for the foreseeable future.
CP3 is currently sidelined with a thumb injury
Paul injured his thumb in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 15. (There wasn’t a foul called on the play and CP3 was ejected, understandably, considering he was not only angry but in a decent amount of pain).
The injury wasn’t announced until right before the All-Star Game on Feb. 20, in which, of course, an uber-competitive Chris took the floor for two minutes anyway.
Per CBSSports, his thumb is set to be re-evaluated 6-8 weeks from the date of injury. Six weeks puts Paul’s possible return during the week of March 28, and eight weeks would be the week of April 11.
The playoffs begin on Saturday, April 16, so CP3 will likely miss the rest of the regular season but should be ready to go for the postseason.
Considering his injury history — especially at inopportune times — a healthy and rested Chris Paul going into the playoffs will benefit Phoenix. The thumb injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
The Suns are fine now but will need The Point God to win a championship
Phoenix’s comfortable margin in the West should land them the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, even without Paul. And considering the Suns made the NBA Finals a season ago and return most of their core, they should be in good shape as the postseason begins.
The team has been the most consistent in the league all year. Six different players average double figures in points, and all six made up the rotation during last year’s Finals — where it’s often forgotten Phoenix had a 2-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.
But the Suns need a steady hand at the point guard spot, and no hand is steadier than Chris Paul’s. He’s everything a team could want in a leader, both on and off the floor.
If Phoenix is going to get over the proverbial hump, The Point God will have to lead them to the promised land.
All statistics courtesy of NBA.com.