Chris Paul says he physically couldn’t shoot in 1st round vs. Lakers: ‘I don’t even know why they was guarding me’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

During the playoffs in the 2020-21 season, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul injured his right shoulder during the Suns’ first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Even with Paul’s injury, the Suns were able to beat the Lakers in six games and eventually went on to make the NBA Finals.

Paul revealed on J.J. Redick’s podcast The Old Man and the Three that he couldn’t shoot the ball against the Lakers.

“I done had some crazy injuries,” Paul said. “This was probably one of the craziest ones because dribbling. That’s what I do. Bubs, I would dribble, and the ball wouldn’t come back up.”

Redick asked Paul if it was because he didn’t have any strength, and the Suns point guard explained that he made a shot that shocked him during the series.

“It was the scariest thing ever,” Paul said. “I would dribble and, ‘Whoa. Why am I losing the ball? Why am I losing the ball?’ So, it was a shot that I hit, and I literally grabbed it, and I threw it – I threw it from the right elbow, and it went in. And I turned and looked at my brother and I was like, ‘I don’t know how the hell that went in.’”

Paul played through the injury in Game 2 of the series as well, and he explained that he was shocked the Lakers even bothered to guard him.

“Game 2, went out there. I don’t even know why they was guarding me,” Paul said. “I could not – I could not shoot it. I was faking the funk, though.”

Paul took just five shots in Game 2, and he finished with six points in the Suns loss. He ended up averaging 9.2 points per game in the series while taking 9.5 shots per game. While Paul was clearly banged up, he still shot 38.6 percent from the field.

The Lakers were unable to take advantage of Paul’s injury, as they lost three straight games after taking a 2-1 series lead in Game 3.

Paul and the Suns didn’t end up winning the NBA title last season, and they are looking to avenge that loss this season. Phoenix currently has the best record in the NBA and is the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lakers, who are the No. 9 seed, could end up facing Paul and company in the first round of the playoffs again if they don’t make a run in the second half of the season.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.