Phoenix are down 0-2 to Denver and will have to rally without Chris Paul, who suffered a groin injury in Game 2, but his coach Monty Williams has a positive outlook.
“I’m optimistic just because I believe in a number of things,” Williams said at practice on Thursday. “Medical staff, Chris fights his tail off to get back. We just have to wait and see.”
Williams was grateful that the injury wasn’t as bad as the team first thought as Paul didn’t tear anything.
The coach hasn’t ruled out his return to the series at some stage.
There is no clear timeline to return for the Suns guard and he is considered to be day-to-day with the injury.
Reports suggest he will miss at least Games 3-5 and will be re-evaluated in a week after an MRI on Tuesday.
38-year-old Paul strained his left groin in Game 2 against the Nuggets in the third quarter.
He jumped for an offensive rebound but when he landed, he immediately grabbed at his left leg and left the court not long after.
Chris Paul appears to injure himself on this play.
He walked off to the locker room. pic.twitter.com/gTxzyDjwYi
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 2, 2023
This is the latest in Paul’s string of playoff injuries, as he has missed eight playoff games in his career.
One of the most memorable being the 2018 Western Conference finals where Houston had a 3-2 lead over Golden State but ended up losing with Paul out.
I’d feel better about that Chris Paul update if he hadn’t missed significant time earlier in the season with injuries that were labeled “day-to-day.” Hope he’s able to return soon, but the Suns are obviously in a tougher spot in the meantime
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) May 3, 2023
Not having Paul for three games against a healthy Nuggets side is definitely going to be tough for the Suns, who don’t have as much depth since the Kevin Durant trade.
Game 3 of the Nuggets and Suns Western Conference semifinals game will take place on Friday, 5th May at 10PM ET in Phoenix.
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