Before the All-Star break, things were rolling for the Phoenix Suns. The Suns(48-10) had the best record in basketball, which is the team’s best start through 58 games. In addition, they are 18-1 in the last 19 games.
However, their season could get a little bumpy in the next few weeks. According to reports, All-Star Chris Paul will miss at least 6-8 with a right thumb avulsion, and he will be re-evaluated during that time.
The 36-year-old Paul, who played two minutes in the All-Star game, injured his thumb last Wednesday in the team’s win over the Rockets.
There are seven weeks left in the season, so there is a possibility he could miss some of the playoffs.
After the All-Star game, Phoenix’s other All-Star, Devin Booker, reacted to the news.
“I would rather have him in,” Booker said. “We have to figure it out. Everybody has to give a little bit more. I look at the beauty in it. He gets to rest his legs. He gets to get ready for a long postseason that we’re trying to make happen. So we got to hold it down without him. We got to hold the fort down. I’m sure Coach is already coming up with some game plans and schemes to make it work without him out there…
“It’s a part of the game that you always hate to see. But Coach always says, control the controllable. That’s part of the game, and that happens sometimes. I think fortunate enough it’s nothing as detrimental as season-ending, and he will be back when the games matter.”
With 24 games left in the season, Phoenix is 6.5 games up on the second-seeded Warriors in the Western Conference. Barring a collapse, they will be the number one seed in the West.
Without Paul, Cam Payne will probably get the start as he’s expected to return after missing 13 games with a wrist injury. In addition, reserve guard Landry Shamet is expected to be back after nine games with an ankle injury.
Obviously, the Suns need Paul to win an NBA title, but at this point, the Suns have to hold down the fort for the rest of the regular season and maybe parts of the playoffs until Paul returns.