There is a motive Chris Paul is named “The Level God.”
Within the Suns’ 123-98 victory over the Nuggets on Wednesday evening, Paul put collectively a efficiency that almost all NBA level guards can solely dream about. He totaled 17 factors, 15 assists and 5 rebounds in 31 minutes. Making his displaying much more spectacular, the 11-time All-Star did not commit a single turnover.
“Simply studying the sport, man, simply discovering open guys, selecting my spots,” Paul instructed TNT’s Chris Haynes after Phoenix’s Recreation 2 win, which gave the Suns a 2-0 sequence lead. “We have an unbelievable workforce.”
The Suns had six gamers attain double figures, and 12 gamers scored not less than two factors. Phoenix additionally stifled Denver’s offensive assault, limiting the Nuggets to 40 % taking pictures from the sphere.
Whereas it was definitely a bunch effort, Paul’s stat line stood out not simply inside this single field rating, but additionally within the broader image of playoff historical past.
15 and 0
Paul registered his third profession playoff sport with 15 or extra assists and 0 turnovers, essentially the most such video games within the 16-team period, per Stathead.
He’s additionally the primary participant with 15 factors, 15 assists and 0 turnovers in a playoff sport since, after all, Chris Paul. He has now hit these numbers with three totally different groups (Hornets in 2008, Clippers in 2014, Suns in 2021).
.@NBA playoff video games with 15+ factors, 15+ assists and 0 turnovers since 1984:
Chris Paul, 3
Magic Johnson, 1
Jason Kidd, 1
Everybody else mixed, 0
(H/t Stathead) https://t.co/f8nj5JEGNw
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 10, 2021
15, 15 and 5
With CP3 nonetheless taking part in at an elite degree, it is easy to overlook the man turned 36 years previous final month.
Solely three gamers age 35 or older have posted not less than 15 factors, 15 assists and 5 rebounds in a postseason sport, per the Elias Sports activities Bureau: Paul, LeBron James and John Stockton. Fairly good firm.
|Might 5, 2000||Stockton||17||15||7|
|Aug. 18, 2020||James||23||16||17|
|June 9, 2021||Paul||17||15||5|
By shelling out 15 assists Wednesday, Paul pushed his playoff whole to 974. That moved him forward of Lakers legend Jerry West for 14th on the all-time playoff assists checklist.
Paul might bounce previous Isiah Thomas (987) in Recreation 3, and if the Suns make a deep run, he might find yourself within the prime 10 by the top of the postseason.
In Phoenix’s first-round sequence towards Los Angeles, Paul shot uncharacteristically poorly, largely as a result of he was coping with a shoulder harm he suffered within the Suns’ playoff opener. His area purpose share dipped under 40 %, and he drained simply two of his 10 3-point makes an attempt over six video games.
Now with that shoulder at round 90 %, in line with Haynes, Paul appears way more like himself. After going 6 of 10 in Recreation 2, Paul is taking pictures 58.3 % from the sphere within the Western Convention semifinals, together with 4 of 5 from past the arc.
That is a promising signal for a Phoenix squad that’s peaking on the excellent time.