The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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What Will It Take For the Suns To Clinch?

The Suns have reminded the NBA that there is an alternative to building super teams to win in the NBA; you just have to build a team.

We’re used to the Suns winning as a team. It’s their greatest strength, organic team chemistry, and it will continue to be a strength.

But tonight in a crucial Game 5, the Suns are going to have to mirror the rest of the NBA. Tonight, the Suns need Chris Paul and Devin Booker to lead the Suns to the NBA Finals and for everybody else to follow.

Whether it’s Deandre Ayton’s spectacular series, Cam Payne’s heroics or someone out of Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges or Cam Johnson hitting triple cherries on the 3 point slot machine, the Suns have gotten winning contributions from all corners.

Tonight they need their stars to lead.

Paul and Booker have combined to shoot 24 for 83 (29%), including 3 of 22 (14%) from three point land, in the last two games against the Clippers.

While the Suns split those games, they can’t count on that trend to continue if the shooting woes continue.

Chris Paul knows the urgency of closing out a series. He’s pushed the boulder up this mountain before only to watch it roll back down the hill right as the peak was in sight. In 2015, his Clippers led team lost a 3-1 series lead to the Houston Rockets. The sting of that series collapse was still obvious in his Suns postgame interview after Game 4.

The Suns should know the importance of closing out as soon as possible. Had the Suns not swept the Nuggets in four games, Chris Paul’s COVID 19 positive test may have derailed the series and the season for this team.

If Chris Paul wants to avoid questions about why he can’t lead a team to the NBA Finals AGAIN, if Devin Booker wants to avoid questions about his ability to lead a team to the highest levels, all they have to do is make shots tonight.

If Chris Paul and Devin Booker lead tonight, I believe the Suns will follow all the way to an NBA championship.

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