The Phoenix Suns fell to 0-2 in the West semifinals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Nuggets and the latest injury update puts a sweep in play.
After falling down 1-0 in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Nuggets, the Phoenix Suns appeared determined to not go into a 2-0 hole, even playing on the road. Or at least it seemed that way for three quarters.
Phoenix went into the fourth quarter up by three end left Denver with a 97-87 loss, falling into that dreaded 2-0 hole in the Western Conference Semifinals and with the pressure moutning for the Suns to get both games at home as the series now shift.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, though, they could be in a tough spot to make that happen with one of their key players potentially out for not just Game 3, but Games 4 and 5 as well: Chris Paul.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Paul underwent tests for a groin injury suffered in Game 2 and will be re-evaluated in a week, but noted that the team is “preparing” to not have the veteran point guard for Games 3-5 in the series.
Suns news: Chris Paul could miss Games 3-5 in NBA Playoffs vs. Nuggets
Given that Paul suffered the injury late in the third quarter and then Denver proceeded to win the final frame 27-14 to take the lead and the game, that doesn’t bode well for the Suns if their veteran point guard isn’t on the floor.
The onus is certainly going to be placed on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker with Paul out as, though Cam Payne has played well this year, his decision-making shortcomings could be problematic, especially against a team with the potent attack of the Nuggets. Moreover, Durant and Booker could be asked to be the primary ball-handler more for as long as Paul is out.
Admittedly, Paul has shown his age at numerous times throughout this year, but his ability as a floor general and facilitator remains vital to the Suns. And now that they won’t have it for the next three games (possibly) after having already fallen into a series deficit, the notion of getting swept has to be creeping into their heads.