As the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks battle to determine the Eastern Conference representative in the NBA Finals, Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul said the additional days off before his first Finals appearance have been tools.
Paul revealed after the Suns’ Game 6 win over the LA Clippers in the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday that he played with partially torn ligaments in his right hand.
When asked on Saturday how he managed to overcome the competition with an injured hand, the 36-year-old point guard shrugged at the challenge.
“I handled it well, well,” he said.
He could have used a much stronger superlative to describe his performance in the closing game, when he tied his career playoff record of 41 points while hitting 16 of 24 shots from the field; 30 of those points came in the second half as the Suns walked away to secure their first place in the Finals in 28 years.
After dealing with a nerve problem in a shoulder in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers and contracting COVID-19 between the second round and the Conference Finals, Paul welcomed a time out of the game to rest.
“Every day we’ve had has been really good and we all get a chance to get some rest before we start over,” Paul said.
Game 1 of the Finals will be this Tuesday if the Bucks win Game 6 or Thursday if the Eastern Conference Finals progress to Game 7.