This time it's different for the Suns.
After Chris Pauls injury in Game 1, Suns fans felt a familiar feeling of betrayal from the basketball gods. An unfair injury break, an unexpected suspension and countless other moments have conspired against the Suns winning their first NBA title in franchise history.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when the break broke back to the Sun favor in Game 4. Anthony Davis, the NBA’s leading injury hypochondriac, winced in pain after a fall and this happened to be one of the one in a hundred times he was actually injured.
Now let’s be clear: I’m not celebrating his injury nor was I rooting for an injury but the fact remains that Davis’s groin injury helped balance the injury scale for this particular series.
I’d much prefer that both Chris Paul AND Anthony Davis were at 100% and these two teams could throw haymakers at each other with the winner likely eventually earning a spot in the NBA Finals.
But thats not what happened. Chris Paul went down and the Lakers took advantage.
Normally, that would be the entire story. Not this year. After watching Davis go down, the Suns took advantage by relentlessly attacking the interior of the Lakers defense with Cam Payne drives, Chris Paul drive-and-kicks, and a healthy dose of Beast Mode Deandre Ayton. Then they did just enough to hang on after a furious Lakers rally to secure the W in Game 4.
That was very un-Suns like. In 2005, when Joe Johnson broke a bone in his eye socket and had to miss the first two games of the WCF against the Spurs, the Spurs didn’t then lose Tony Parker or Bruce Bowen for a handful of games. In 2007, when Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were unjustly suspended for a critical Game 5 in the Suns/Spurs semi-finals of the Western Conference playoffs, the Spurs didn’t lose Manu Ginobili to balance out the karmic scales.
This Suns playoff story started to feel the same as those other playoff heartbreaks. Now, with Anthony Davis hobbled, the Suns have a chance to write a new ending.
All they have to do is beat Lebron James two out of the next three games.
When they do so, that will be a story Suns fans won’t mind telling for the next decade or so.