Chris Paul guides the Suns to a 2-0 lead in the second round
The Phoenix Suns won dominantly against the Denver Nuggets 123-98. Chris Paul was the star of the show as he scored 17 points and dished out 15 assists without a turnover. It was a well-rounded performance from the Suns as all of their starters scored in double figures.
Recently-crowned MVP Nikola Jokić was the only player who performed at a high level for the Nuggets. He scored 24 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and dished out six assists. Unfortunately, he was the only bright spot for the Nuggets who lost their second game in a row after beating the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
The Suns were a step quicker than their opponents on both ends of the floor. Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton led the way for the Suns on the defensive end while Paul had his magnificent performance.
Before the 2020-21 season started, the Suns were not seen as a title contender. Even if they had Paul, they were a young team that was unproven in the playoff stage. Paul turned this team from young upstarts into contenders in just one season using his playmaking and veteran leadership.
Back in December 2020, Paul was asked about the criticism of the Suns and their youth. He said, ‘People always say, “It’s a young team, it’s a young team.” Sometimes, it’s nice to have a young team because they don’t know anything else but to hoop and to play hard. They’re not thinking about what can happen here, or what can happen there’.
It should not be a surprise that the Suns are playing at this level because they have talented players and a fantastic coach who guides them through the hardships with Monty Williams. The Suns went 8-0 in the NBA Bubble in 2020 but it wasn’t enough to make the play-in game. Now, they’re primed for a spot in the Conference Finals after adding Paul and Jae Crowder.
The journey continues for the Suns in Denver’s Ball Arena in Game 3 of the second round which will be played on the 11th of June. Fans should expect a classic duel between the two teams.
Words: Cholo Martin