Chris Paul is almost ready. And when he is, good luck trying to stop him.
The famously homicidally competitive CP3 is going to want to play the second he is cleared. The question is, should he?
Some people have made the case that Paul's value to the Suns is too great to risk yet another injury before the playoffs being. That the Suns would be better off mothballing Paul for an extra 7-10 days to ensure he's in optimal health before the playoff gauntlet begins.
Those people are wrong.
Beyond Paul's own desire to play, the Suns need to insert Paul back into the lineup as soon as he's cleared for one very simple reasons:
Championships aren't won on fear.
I understand CP3's value and I understand his injury history late in seasons. I also understand that there's no way you can prevent injuries. Often times when teams or players go out of their way to avoid injuries is the exact moment when they get injured.
Paul needs to be on the floor as soon as he's able. They don't need to rush him back to cling to a 1 seed, the Suns have actually extended their lead and have a magic number of 1 to clinch the top seed. They don't need him back tp jumpstart a stalling offense; the Suns are in the midst of a five game streak of scoring 125 or more points a game.
They need Chris Paul back because the only thing that matters is winning a championship. Even if the Suns have thrived without their top dog doesn't mean they don't need a period to readjust to his on court presence.
If I were the Suns, as soon as the doctors clear Chris Paul, he's playing.
Protecting Chris Paul is a nice thought but winning a championship is a better one.