For the Denver Nuggets, Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Suns was bad. They not only lost the game but one star left early with an injury. And according to Phoenix’s coach, that injury might compromise another star.
Chris Paul sustained a groin injury in his team’s 97-87 loss in Denver. His status for Game 3 remains unclear.
After the game, Phoenix coach Monty Williams was asked about the possibility of Devin Booker moving over to point guard, should Paul not be able to play. If you’re pulling for the Suns, it’s unlikely that Williams’ will make you feel all that confident about the team’s chances of overcoming the 0-2 deficit.
“I think it’s a lot,” Williams said about Booker playing point guard, per Tim MacMahon, ESPN. “He was probably more tired than he would admit, but with Chris off the floor, it puts a lot of pressure on him. So I got to figure that out.”
Monty Williams on Devin Booker’s ability to handle PG responsibilities if necessary: “I think it's a lot. He was probably more tired than he would admit, but with Chris off the floor, it puts a lot of pressure on him. So I got to figure that out.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 2, 2023
The Suns know, firsthand, that overcoming a 2-0 deficit is possible. They had it done against them in both the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks and the 2022 Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks.
But a 3-0 deficit has never been overcome in the history of the NBA. If Paul is out and Booker is compromised, it’s hard to imagine this being the first time it happens.
So, Williams is right. He does have to “figure that out.” And he has to do it quickly.