Chris Paul is (reportedly) back. The 12-time All-Star will return from his right thumb injury on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. The Phoenix Suns are officially listing him as probable.
Paul broke his thumb just before the All-Star break and has missed Phoenix's last 15 games. In that stretch, the Suns kept rolling, going 11-4 with a plus-9.8 point differential, the third-best mark in the league. On the season the Suns are a league-best 59-14, with a league-best plus-8.4 point differential.
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It is a testament to Phoenix's depth, balance and coaching that it has thrived without Paul (and, for the last 10 games, without Cameron Johnson). With Paul is back in the starting lineup, there will be fewer minutes for Cameron Payne and/or Aaron Holiday, and there will be less playmaking responsibility on the shoulders of Devin Booker.
Paul is having an All-NBA-caliber season, averaging 14.9 points, a league-high 10.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 33 minutes.