Suns' Williams on Injured Chris Paul: 'I Just Couldn't Watch Him Run Like That'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 26, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams said it was his decision to limit point guard Chris Paul's minutes during the second half of the team's 109-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Tuesday.  

According to ESPN, Williams said: "I took him out, that was all me. Just looking at him holding his arm the way he was holding it, I just couldn't watch him run like that, trying to make plays. He battled. He's a warrior, we all know that. I just made a decision to take him out."

Paul injured his shoulder in Game 1, and while he wasn't listed on the injury report ahead of Game 2, he was clearly favoring his shoulder during the game.

As a result, Paul played only seven minutes in the second half and 23 minutes overall, finishing with six points, five assists and three rebounds.

The Suns acquired Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder during the offseason, hoping that he could help end their 10-year playoff drought playing alongside Devin Booker. 

Things have worked out well, with the Suns having earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. In 70 games during the regular season, CP3 averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds, and he was named an All-Star for the 11th time in his career.

This marks the third different team Paul has played on in the past three seasons. The 10-time All-Star adapted well in 2019-20 as the leader of a young Thunder squad. He remained healthy, playing in 70 of their 72 regular-season games, and averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game.

Paul has had his share of physical ailments dating back to his final season with the Los Angeles Clippers. He missed at least 20 games in three straight seasons prior to 2019-20. 

If Paul is once again limited or unable to play in Game 3, look for Williams to lean on Cameron Payne at point guard after he played 33 minutes in Game 2.