Chris Paul falls short but stands tall

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Chris Paul falls short but stands tall
June 01
13:16 2022

Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns came up short as the number one seed in the Western Conference playoffs, perhaps squandering his best chance at winning a championship to date. After going up 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals, the Suns lost to the Dallas Mavericks in seven games and makes you wonder will Paul ever make it to the mountain top.

Paul is my favorite point guard since I have been a fan of sports. I have him as a top three point guard of all time, so I really was hoping he would be able to put a championship on his mantle this season. To see him and the Suns fall apart like they did was shocking.

I came across a stat that stated Paul has been a part of five teams that have blown 2-0 series leads, which is an NBA record. That is a stat that no one wants to be the NBA record holder of. Even though it had happened to him several times previously, I didn’t see this one coming.

The Suns were the best team in the NBA almost from the start of the season. They finished the regular season with a 64-18 record. They went into the playoffs as the team to beat from both conferences. The only team I felt could give Phoenix trouble would be Golden State.

In the first round, the Suns dispatched the New Orleans Pelicans in six games. I thought they were poised to do the same thing to the Mavericks in the second round. The Suns got off to a great start to the series, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. They lost game three of the series but had a good opportunity to win the series.

Phoenix lost game four of the series to even things at 2-2. After game five, which was a Phoenix blowout, I knew the Suns would be moving on. After that performance I said to myself that there was no way they would lose two games in a row, but that’s exactly what happened. To make matters worse, the way they were manhandled in that game 7 loss was totally embarrassing.

Things really started to heat up for Paul after the game 7 loss to the Mavs. There was scrutiny coming from everywhere targeting Paul for falling short once again. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley went on several ESPN morning sports shows and Chris Paul was one of the main topics of conversation.

“He can’t guard. He literally can’t guard,” said Beverley to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. “Man, CP can’t guard nobody, man. Everybody in the NBA knows that. What do we call him? Cone. You know when you do cones? Like, in the summertime, you gotta cone. You make a move. What does the cone do?”

Get Up host Mike Greenberg responded with, “Stay still,” and Beverley quickly said, “Exactly.” 

On First Take, Beverley continued his barrage against Paul and his pregame approach before facing him.

“Do guys in the NBA go to sleep early the night before playing the Phoenix Suns? Hell, no. No. I’m going to Steak 44 over there in Phoenix, I’m gonna have me a nice little wine, probably sweat it out in the pregame shootaround and get ready for Chris Paul. Steph Curry?  I’m going to bed at 8 o’clock. Mom, don’t call me. My girl, don’t call me. I’m locked in right now.”

Now I believe some of the things that Beverley said, but some of the stuff that came out of his mouth is BS, to be honest. Do I think people try to go after Paul on defense? Sure. But on the other hand, I think Beverley also thinks heavily about Chris Paul the night before a game with Phoenix because Chris Paul is still that guy.

He is attempting to act like Paul isn’t still one of the best players in the league and hasn’t busted his butt several times over the years. Beverley is a quality player, but he is half the player Chris Paul is. He needs to stop disrespecting that man because everyone knows why he is saying all of these comments instead of giving Paul his deserved flowers.

I used the word “deserved” because that word was tossed around several times after the Suns’ loss to Dallas. Former player Jeremy Lin took to Twitter and said, “Dang …. I really hope CP3 gets a championship before he retires. He deserves one.” 

Beverley couldn’t let that comment pass without commenting. He responded with, “What u mean deserve, why does he deserve it more?”

Deserves is the word I would use also. Paul is in the class of great players that I feel deserves a title because of what they have meant to the game. Others like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Allen Iverson and Karl Malone are also on that list. They are all great players that fell short of winning a championship. He also deserves one because of that rejected trade by the NBA that would have sent Paul to play with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Who knows how many championships that tandem would have been able to win.

I hate that the season ended this way for Paul because he will have to listen to all of the criticism all off-season. The question remains if he will win an NBA championship before he retires. At the age of 37 the window is closing rapidly. At this point, I would not be upset if he chose to join a team with other superstars to win one.

I’m still rooting for you, Chris, and when the day comes that you win a championship, I will be cheering.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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