ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson weighs in on Chris Paul’s poor performances in Games Three and Four during the 2021 NBA Finals.
There is no doubt that CP3 is one of the greatest point guards to ever play in the NBA. The 11x NBA All-Star is a great leader and has played a big role in elevating the teams he’s been part of.
Paul is the closest he has been in winning the NBA title this year. In only his first year with the Phoenix Suns, the team has clinched a berth in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.
The Suns had a great playoff run eliminating the defending champions LA Lakers in the first round, followed by sweeping the Denver Nuggets. The Arizona team defeated the Clippers in the WCF, making their way into the 2021 NBA Finals.
However, Paul has had a bitter-sweet playoff run. The former rookie of the year struggled with a shoulder injury during the first round of the playoffs, which was followed by missing the first 2 games of the WCF as he had entered the health and safety protocols of the league.
Despite this, the veteran point guard did have some great performances, especially Game Six of the WCF and Game One of the NBA Finals.
Also read: “Scoring isn’t everything, got to be better at not turning the ball over”: Chris Paul sits down with Rachel Nichols to address his abysmal Game 4 play ahead of crucial Game 5 against Giannis and the Bucks
The Suns, who had a 2-0 lead in the Finals, lost the next two consecutive games at Milwaukee making the series even. CP3 struggled from the field in Games Three and Four.
Former NBA player turned analyst Richard Jefferson while talking about Paul’s performance in Games Three and Four, stated nervousness and fatigue as some of the major reasons for CP3 hitting a shooting slump.
Richard Jefferson analyzes Chris Paul’s performances in Games 3 and 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals
The 4x assists leader had a mere 19-points in Game Three and shot 25% from the 3-point line and 66.7% from the free-throw line. Paul had 4 turnovers during the game.
This was followed by an even worse performance in Game Four, as the veteran scored a dismal 10-points on a 38.5% shooting from the field and had 5 turnovers at the end of the game.
This was surprising since Cp3 is known to be one of the most efficient players in the league and is rarely heard of having multiple turnovers in games.
While talking about Paul’s recent performances, former NBA champion Richard Jefferson had the following to say,
“My first year in San Antonio, we played against Jason Kidd and he was with Dallas. They were the #2 seed, and Jason Kidd was an older point guard, very similar.” Jefferson said on The Dan Patrick Show.
“You would never dare pick up Chris Paul. You would never dare pick up Jason Kidd. But, once you pick those guys up because a lot of times you give them that respect. But, once you pick them up, they view it as disrespect, but they don’t have the same motor at 32 and at 28.” he added.
Jefferson spoke about how fatigue may be a major reason why the 36-year old is slowing down.
“So now all of a sudden you see them wearing down. And, what’s so crazy is he’s wearing down with 2 days rest. We’re gonna say wearing down because God knows we don’t wanna say is Chris Paul getting nervous? Is Chris Paul squeezing on too tight?” Jefferson concluded.
“Chris Paul has a lot to think about and digest. And I think ALL of the pressure falls on the #Suns in this moment.”
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) July 15, 2021
Game Five of the NBA Finals takes place today at the Phoenix Suns arena, which is a must-win game for the home team. The Suns need Paul to be at his best, without whom their chances seem minimal of winning the chip this year.