The Phoenix Suns dropped Game 4 of the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks, and now must see if they can regain the series lead at home in Game 5 on Saturday. Still, that second loss in Milwaukee was a tough pill to swallow after Phoenix squandered a late-game lead filled with mistakes on both ends of the floor to help the Bucks to the win. One glaring issue that's been talked about at length following the loss was the play of Chris Paul, who finished with just 10 points on 5 of 13 from the field and five turnovers.
Paul's fifth and final turnover of the night came in a crucial situation, as the Suns were down by two points with 40 seconds left. The veteran All-Star guard lost the ball while trying to cross up Giannis Antetokounmpo and stumbled, which gave way for another transition opportunity for the Bucks. The continuous blunders in Game 4 led to some speculating if Paul was dealing with an injury, or if his right hand was bothering him. After the Game 4 loss, Suns coach Monty Williams was asked if everything was OK with Paul physically, to which he responded, "He's fine." Williams reiterated the same sentiment Friday. "He's fine. Other than having to deal with me, he's good."
Williams also added that Paul's Game 4 performance was just a "blip on the screen."
Ahead of Game 5, Paul also commented on the status of his health, more specifically about his right hand to which he also echoed Williams' comments. When asked about the torn ligaments in his hand that he made public information during the Western Conference finals, Paul responded with a short "no, I'm good."
In regards to the rise in turnovers -- not just in Game 4, but in the last three games combined where he's totaled 15 -- Paul isn't too concerned about it.
"It's something I don't dwell on, even though it may be an anomaly for me, it happens," Paul said. "I've turned the ball over hella times before. End of the day, we gotta win the game. Me turning the ball over is not giving us enough shots at the basket so I'll figure it out."
Looking ahead to Game 5, if Paul isn't able to figure it out, or if his hand actually isn't in great shape and he's been downplaying it, the Suns could be in some trouble. Credit also has to be given to the Bucks defense, particularly to Jrue Holiday who's making life difficult for Paul, and forcing him to make some of those turnovers. It's not time to panic about Paul just yet if you're the Suns, because he's been able to bounce back from some dud performances throughout the postseason. Phoenix just has to hope that bounce-back performance can come in Game 5.