The Phoenix Suns went down 2-0 to the Denver Nuggets after losing in Game 2 of this Western Conference semifinal series. They ended up playing most of the second half of Monday night’s game without Chris Paul, who left the game in the third quarter with a strained groin. Now it seems that they will miss him a little longer. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports this, Paul will be re-evaluated in a week, and the Suns expect to miss Paul for Games 3-5 of the Denver series. CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter confirms that Paul could be out for a week, but has been told there is a hopeful timeline that could see Paul back in just 3-4 days.
The suns Paul officially ruled out in the fourth quarter of Game 2. The injury occurred when Paul was fighting for position with Denver’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for a rebound. After Paul lifted to try to stop Caldwell-Pope from grabbing the rebound, he immediately began grabbing at his groin area as he landed. The Nuggets eventually got the offensive backboard and bucket, and as the Suns regained possession, Paul gingerly jogged down the sideline. He remained in the game for one more possession and then was eliminated. Then he went straight back to the locker room.
This is how the injury occurred:
The loss of Paul is a huge blow to the Suns, especially on offense because he can get the ball moving. In Game 1 and parts of Game 2, the Suns had several possessions with minimal ball movement, resulting in low-quality shot selections. Paul acts as a table setter for guys like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton, and without him, Phoenix has one less ball handler to turn to on the floor.
After the game, Suns coaches Monty Williams told reporters that Paul couldn’t push off after the injury. Needless to say, Paul missing every moment in this series isn’t ideal for the Suns, who are two losses away from elimination.