On Tuesday night, Chris Paul didn’t capture his first NBA title while facing elimination against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was hungry and after dropping 50 points to win NBA Finals MVP…the likelihood of his return to the NBA Finals is greater than Chris Paul who’ll deal with a familiar team who is ready to remind the league they’re the real threat.
Game 6 was a reality check for Phoenix who needed proven veterans to remain efficient through a nail-biting series. A young core roster is solid…but Milwaukee had experience, continuity and faced adversity throughout years of defeat in their hopes for a title.
Devin Booker finished with 19 points and Paul added 26 points on 11-for-19 shooting from the field. Booker’s performance indicated how great Milwaukee’s interior defense was clogging the lane to force him to find his teammates on every possession. Jrue Holiday made sure he cut off the right drive on defense and didn’t fall for the pump fake pull up jumper Booker implemented from the late Kobe Bryant.
With a healthy Golden State Warriors rejuvenated and Klay Thompson slowly improving for a return….the Warriors will be back in the NBA title hunt if fully healthy.
Full health isn’t guaranteed for next season like it’s been over the past six years. This past season, we witnessed Phoenix eliminate the Lakers with Anthony Davis suffering from a groin injury and a Denver Nuggets team without Jamal Murray. It’s no different than Milwaukee defeating the Brooklyn Nets who didn’t have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden all play at once for each game. The most impressive part is knowing the Nets took the Bucks to a Game 7 without Irving and loss 115-111.
Paul has been in the Western Conference his entire career and the challenge of returning to the NBA Finals will be difficult. The Warriors have the No. 7 and No. 14 pick in the NBA Draft and will likely figure out a way to get rid of Kelly Oubre. Key veterans who add perimeter defense along with James Wiseman fresh off his rookie year will be something to examine if that’s their plan.
Yearly battles with Curry for Paul isn’t new despite the 2-1 Playoff series wins Curry have over him. Other teams are emerging as a threat with the likes of Denver or Utah who’s in need of a disciplined decision maker on offense.
The Warriors were eliminated this year in the Play-In tournament after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers and the league is adapting the three-point shooting to their game.
Dominance is far from over and this will be the first time we witness the Warriors embark on another title run without adding a Top five NBA player to their roster.
Get ready Paul because the Splash brothers and a viscous Draymond Green who’s apart of Team USA Basketball are coming.
Flip the page for his post game interview.