Chris Paul spent this season deferring to James Harden and finally carrying less of a burden on a championship contender. On Tuesday night, however, he didnt leave his fate in anyone elses hands in Game 5 of the Western Conference semis between his Houston Rockets squad and the Utah Jazz.
The future HOF point guard could smell his first Conference championship series and put the nail in Utahs playoff coffin with one of the impactful performances of his illustrious career.
Chris Paul went for 41 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. He earned this trip to his first Western Conference Finals. https://t.co/pXkA9xk6kv
Now that the monkey is finally off of Pauls back, he can set his sights on the tasks of tasks — winning his first NBA title. Pauls journey with Houston has been like a version of the original Super Mario Brothers (Im dating myself a bit). In order to win the game and save the princess you have to get past all of these ascending levels of difficulty; fire-breathing dragons, deadly turtles, flying hammers, even secret tunnels leading to the opposing team’s locker room.
The princess, in this case, is the NBA Championship trophy and Golden State is the fire-breathing dragon that guards her. It took me about 200 tries and an old-school cheat code to leap the dragon and save the princess. James Hardens Houston Rockets have never done it and unfortunately, they are catching the Warriors at the worst time, with everyone at full strength and ready to serve that playoff heat. Houston’s supporting cast will have to elevate their games to match the multi-faceted depth of Dub Nation.
PJ Tucker hits the open 3 to clinch it for the Rockets. https://t.co/zGA0WNYSkv
If Houston can get past Golden State in the Western Conference Finals, then the state of Texas will own the 2018 NBA championship because the Rockets will be heavily favored against any Eastern Conference team in the Finals, even one with “LeBronto” James running the show.
In Golden States series-clinching win over an outmatched New Orleans Pelicans squad on Tuesday night, Stephen Curry finished with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. Kevin Durant had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists of his own. While Klay Thompson put in 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half and Draymond Green nearly had another triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Steph from WAYYYY back! @NBAonTNT https://t.co/ThPeSrR0HV
Thats a tough nut to crack, even for the 2018 MVP fav and a HOF point guard with a burning desire to play in the NBA finals. Experienced basketball minds don’t give Houston a chance against the defending champs, but Paul knows all too well that these kinds of discussions are settled on the court and not in the media. The only certainty is that coach Mike D’Antoni, CP3 and The Beard will have to have the performances of their lives.
In the postgame presser, Draymond Green wasn’t showing much concern for Houston, saying, “We won two championships in three years. We’re not about to run off talking about how bad we want to play someone. We want another championship. If you’re in the way of that, you happen to be in the way. It doesn’t matter to us who we play.”