How badly did Chris Paul play in Game 4 of 2021 NBA Finals? Analyzing the stats and looking at what needs to be done in Game 5

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Chris Paul shouldered the blame for the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Recreation 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals. And why shouldn’t he?

In spite of everything, it was Paul’s miscues and total poor play that have been among the many largest elements that led to the predicament the Phoenix Suns are in proper now. They weren’t imagined to be tied 2-2 within the NBA Finals heading residence for Recreation 5, not after how Devin Booker bounced again from a equally horrific efficiency in Recreation 3.

However right here they’re and Chris Paul made positive to not make excuses for his efficiency on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old performed 37 minutes and had 10 factors on 5-of-13 taking pictures from the sphere, 0-of-2 from the arc and turned the ball over 5 instances in Recreation 4. On another evening, the Phoenix Suns would have pulled off a victory the best way Booker was taking pictures the ball (he had 42 factors). However that is the Finals the place each mistake is magnified, particularly within the face of unimaginable defensive stress from the Bucks’ Jrue Vacation.

How unhealthy was Chris Paul’s recreation actually? Let’s take a look at the numbers and the way the Phoenix Suns can transfer on and stay up for Recreation 5.

The turnovers story

Chris Paul #3 handles the ball against Jrue Holiday #21.
Chris Paul #3 handles the ball in opposition to Jrue Vacation #21.

Chris Paul had 5 turnovers in Recreation 4 however he had a worse turnover fee (6) in Recreation 2 which they gained. The issue wasn’t about what number of he dedicated, however after they occurred. Turnovers, after they happen within the first or second quarters, are nonetheless forgivable.

However after they occur together with your staff holding on to a precarious three-point lead in crunch time, that’s an enormous deal. With 3:47 left within the recreation, Chris Paul handed to a reducing Deandre Ayton for a wide-open dunk. However the cross was off and it led to a fastbreak layup by the Bucks.

The second fourth-quarter turnover got here with about 34 seconds to go. He did a crossover on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul misplaced the ball on his personal accord and that, too, led to a layup on the different finish to present their opponent a four-point lead.

Paul is among the most sure-handed ball handlers within the recreation and barely commits turnovers. Through the common season, he dedicated 5 or extra simply 5 instances. Within the Finals, he’s already obtained two video games with at the least 5.

Chris Paul’s Plus/Minus for Recreation 4

Chris Paul #3 celebrates a basket.
Chris Paul #3 celebrates a basket.

By easy definition, plus/minus is a sign of how nicely or how unhealthy a participant’s staff performs whereas he’s on the courtroom. Apparently, Chris Paul had a worse plus/minus (-13) in Recreation 3 than in Recreation 4 (-10) however we don’t speak about his points within the earlier recreation as a result of Devin Booker performed worse.

Moreover, Recreation 3 isn’t as essential as Recreation 4 was. Wednesday’s match was the Phoenix Suns’ probability to place a stranglehold on the Finals however they couldn’t do this with CP3 enjoying the best way he did.

We talked about his fourth quarter turnover woes and that contributed to a worse plus/minus for Paul (-12) than his total numbers. He shot 2-of-5 from the sphere and 0-of-1 from three, with no free throws and solely two assists other than giving up the ball twice.

The truth that he wasn’t ready to attract a foul that might ship him to the road boggles the thoughts. Throughout an in depth contest, Paul usually goes to the free-throw line to present his staff a bonus.

The taking pictures and the proportion

Chris Paul #3 goes up for a shot against the Bucks.
Chris Paul #3 goes up for a shot in opposition to the Bucks.

Chris Paul made simply 5-of-13 photographs from the sphere for 38.5 p.c taking pictures. We see this within the field rating nevertheless it doesn’t inform the entire story. What the stats don’t present is how badly he was lacking from mid-range, his signature shot.

The follow-through wasn’t clear and you would nearly sense a tentativeness from him at any time when he took a jumper.

Chris Paul had a push shot within the lane early within the third quarter that was approach brief although no Bucks participant bothered him. There have been wide-open jumpers from the wings that he left brief, whereas some makes an attempt have been simply too sturdy. It was nearly like a reduction when the ball went by means of the ring the best way he was taking pictures it.

Waiting for Recreation 5

Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 warm up before Game 4.
Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 heat up earlier than Recreation 4.

As Devin Booker confirmed in Recreation 4, Chris Paul can bounce again from his worst playoff recreation and have one in all his greatest performances of the postseason. The long run Corridor of Famer is simply too good for us to anticipate something lower than a robust outing for Recreation 5.

However the Phoenix Suns must lighten Paul’s load if they need him to make them a win. Whether or not he’s exhausted from Vacation’s protection, he’s nursing an damage or he’s coping with one thing else, coach Monty Williams has to have a look at distributing the duties to his different gamers and streamlining Paul’s personal tasks to an important ones.

Chris Paul is so near profitable his first NBA title, which can even be the franchise’s first. For Recreation 5 to have a special outcome from Recreation 4, he could must tackle a special function than traditional. Paul has saved his Phoenix Suns teammates numerous instances this postseason. It’s time for them to do the identical for him.


Additionally Learn: 2021 NBA Finals: 5 changes Phoenix Suns must make to bounce again in opposition to Milwaukee Bucks in Recreation 5


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