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Windhorst: People in NBA Don't Think Suns' Chris Paul Can Win Title Due to His Size

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 16, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 15, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Numerous people in the NBA believe it will be "very hard" for Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul to "win at the highest level" because of his size, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Monday's edition of Get Up.

"Chris Paul had a world-class clutch season. There are issues with him. His size tends to show up at the end of seasons. There are people in this league who believe that it's going to be very hard for him to win at the highest level because his size is an issue. His stamina throughout games can be an issue as he's gotten older. He definitely has been saving his energy for the end of games and that is something that teams can pick on in playoff settings. But there is no doubt about his greatness as a player and the excellency of this Suns team."

The 6'0", 175-pound Paul just helped lead the Suns to an NBA-best 64-18 regular-season record.

Phoenix won its first-round playoff matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, but its season is now over after a Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

The 37-year-old Paul's size didn't appear to be a problem during the regular season, when the 17-year veteran and 12-time All-Star averaged an NBA-high 10.3 assists per game. Nor was it an issue when Paul crushed the Pels to the tune of 22.3 points, 11.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

The Mavs series was a different story. After two dominant opening games, Paul struggled mightily in the final five, averaging 9.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 turnovers per game.

The Suns won only one of those five matchups and trailed by as many as 46 points before their season ended with a 123-90 Game 7 loss on Sunday.

Perhaps Paul's size may have played a factor, but there were plenty of reasons why the Suns lost. Of note, Mavs point guard Luka Doncic (32.6 PPG) was near-unstoppable, Dallas guard Jalen Brunson (18.7 PPG) continued his rise to stardom and Suns center Deandre Ayton played poorly and got benched in Game 7.

Phoenix also has a distinct size and length advantage down low and out-rebounded the Mavs by 54 in this series, but that didn't prevent a Dallas win.

Ultimately, the Suns' season is now over as a postseason that began with championship aspirations ended with just one series win. It's a disappointing performance for the defending Western Conference champions, but this is still a loaded team with Paul and Devin Booker leading the way alongside Coach of the Year Monty Williams.

Phoenix will have to decide what to do with Ayton, a restricted free agent, but the Suns have enough talent to make another run in 2022-23.