Chris Paul’s pursuit of a championship ring has been put on hold — again.
During the Suns’ second-round series against the Nuggets, the 12-time All-Star suffered a groin injury that could sideline him for multiple games.
Unfortunately for Paul, this is just the latest in a long line of playoff problems. Over the past few seasons, he has run into health issues at the worst possible times.
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Chris Paul playoff injury timeline
2015 NBA Playoffs
Paul battled through a hamstring injury to push the Clippers past the Spurs in a thrilling first-round series. He hit a buzzer-beater over Tim Duncan in Game 7 to send Los Angeles to the Western Conference Semifinals.
On this day in 2015, Chris Paul fought through a hamstring injury for this tough Playoff game-winner. pic.twitter.com/j1cQpVLVMu
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 2, 2023
Paul then missed the first two games of the next series. After holding a 3-1 lead, the Clippers ultimately fell to the Rockets.
2016 NBA Playoffs
In a Game 4 loss to the Trail Blazers, Paul fractured his right right hand while defending a drive by Gerald Henderson. Paul seemed to immediately know that he would be out for an extended period.
Without Paul (and Blake Griffin) in the starting lineup for the last two games of the first round, the Clippers failed to advance.
2018 NBA Playoffs
Paul and James Harden powered the Rockets to a 3-2 lead over the mighty Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but Houston couldn’t land a knockout blow after Paul limped off the floor with a hamstring injury near the end of Game 5.
Golden State went on to win the final two games and sweep Cleveland in the NBA Finals.
2021 NBA Playoffs
While he didn’t sit out any of the Suns’ games against the Lakers, Paul struggled to perform like his usual self in the first round because of a right shoulder contusion.
Paul told JJ Redick on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast that he couldn’t even handle or shoot the ball in certain games.
“Dribbling, that’s what I do. I would dribble, and the ball wouldn’t come back up,” Paul said. “It was the scariest thing ever. Like, I would dribble, and [think], ‘Whoa, why am I losing the ball?’ … Game 2, I went out there. I don’t even know why they were guarding me. I could not shoot it.”
During that same postseason, Paul also entered the league’s health and safety protocols, forcing him to miss Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals. He was available for the rest of the playoffs, but Phoenix was not able to take down Milwaukee in the NBA Finals.
2022 NBA Playoffs
Paul wouldn’t publicly discuss the issue, but he was reportedly dealing with a quad injury during the Suns’ Western Conference Semifinal series against the Mavericks, according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.
Suns point guard Chris Paul limped out of the arena with a very slow walk. @andscape learned that Paul had a left quad injury. When asked about his quad injury, Paul declined comment.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 16, 2022
Dallas pummeled Phoenix in the last two games of the series to secure a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
2023 NBA Playoffs
In Game 2, Paul suffered a groin strain while attempting to box out Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
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
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Phoenix is preparing to be without Paul for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the second round.
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