If you didn’t know by now, Phoenix Suns point god Chris Paul has a right thumb avulsion fracture and will miss a solid chunk of time as he will be reevaluated in 6 to 8 weeks.
That’s quite a blow and yes, it hurts, I won’t lie.
One of the first things in my mind was the song “We gon’ be alright” by Kendrick Lamar.
If you didn’t know by now, the Phoenix Suns hold the best record in the NBA at 48-10.
They’re the only team in the top 5 of both offensive and defensive rating and have the best net rating in the association with a +8.1 point differential.
It gets even better in the clutch, especially on the defensive end where they hold an impressive 93.1 rating.
Chris and his 1.9 steals per game (tied for 2nd in the NBA) certainly factor in there but the Suns still have a healthy “Wing Stop” with a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in Mikal Bridges leading a group of wings that have one word for opponents: “Stop”.
THE WINGS ARE BACK pic.twitter.com/Pj4VuiRVjr— Junior (@jxnior323) February 10, 2022
The Suns hold a 6.5 game lead for the best record, joining E-L-I-T-E company as the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were the last team to have such an advantage.
They don’t need to keep up such a torrid pace either as they can kind of coast and still stay at the top. If they just go .500 (12-12) for the rest of the season, they still reach that 60-win plateau with very high odds (don’t bother with a sports book) of finishing with the West’s top seed and with no East team fairly close.
It helps that they have one of the easiest schedules here on out, which is a testament to how dominant they’ve been as their current record comes against a “much tougher” stretch of opponents.
Their next five games are against the Thunder, Pelicans, Jazz, Knicks and Blazers. Take out Utah and those other four teams have combined to win 91 out of their 235 games this season (that’s a .387 win percentage).
Now, I know, a H-U-G-E reason for the success of this franchise is the Point God. Nobody can replace him. He’s without a doubt one of the best point guards to ever lace up. I feel that should go without being said but I just want to put it out there.
However, you also have to credit Coach of the Year Monty Williams and the incredible job he’s done ever since he came to town. The same must be said about Executive of the Year James Jones.
I won’t get into politics or race here but I think it’s absolutely special that one of the only black coach-general manager duos in professional sports is doing so darn well.
PRESENTING YOUR 2020-21 EXECUTIVE AND COACH OF THE YEAR...JAMES JONES AND MONTY WILLIAMS!!! pic.twitter.com/0J8ofHJqYo— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) April 8, 2021
Speaking of James, I’ll just take a small sample of his quotes on the CP3 situation.
“This team is built for these types of moments… So it’ll be a great challenge for us and we’ll miss him sorely, dearly, but I’m confident in our staff and our players that we’ll figure it out.”
I agree, 100 percent.
Cameron Payne should be back from injury soon and we saw what he flashed last season in place of Chris. You all remember Game 2 of the team’s playoff series against the Clippers, right?
Jones also may have pulled off a steal similar to when he acquired Torrey Craig last season by acquiring Aaron Holiday from the Washington Wizards for cash considerations.
Also, there is another MVP Candidate on this squad by the name of Devin Booker, who is now under arguably the most individual pressure of his career. And we know how darn well he does under pressure.
How clutch is Devin Booker this year?— RB (Not a Lakers fan) (@RyB_311) February 16, 2022
Of all the players in the last 25 years with at min the same volume as Book in the clutch, he is shooting the 8th best FG%
All of the players ahead of him are also Big men, which means he is 1st in FG% among all guards in the last 25 years pic.twitter.com/44AXKP5UCz
I’m sure Eddie Johnson will tell you at least once over the final stretch of the season, “Ladies and gentlemen, if you didn’t know, now you know.”
Don’t worry, Suns fans. “We gon’ be alright!”