Chris Paul will one day be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but his entire career effectively ended on Sunday night against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
One of the best point guards in NBA history – and the best regular season team in the NBA – was historically emasculated by Luka on Sunday night in Phoenix.
“It’s a Game 7, isn’t it?” TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller asked rhetorically during the Mavs’ game against the Suns on Sunday night.
The Mavs led 72-32 with 7:38 left in the third quarter.
The guy who bet “Mavs lead by 40 on the road in Game 7 of the Western Semifinals” made a ground money on Sunday evening.
A few minutes later, the Mavs led 89-48; it was the Suns’ biggest deficit all season.
The Dallas Mavericks, who previously led their playoff series against Phoenix 0-2, are now in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011. (The Mavs won the NBA title that season).
In the first of DFW’s Game 7 streak on Sunday night, the Mavericks went into zombie apocalypse in Phoenix and won 123-90.
The Mavs will face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 is Wednesday in San Francisco.
The Mavs will be an underdog in this series, whatever that means. They were also the underdog against the Suns.
Luka ‘n’ Friends has won four of the last five games against the Suns. The Mavs have won the last two games of this series by an average of 30 points.
With Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the Suns should advanced to their second consecutive Western Finals.
The Suns have won the most regular season games in the NBA, and should returned to the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season.
On the same day the team that beat them in the 2021 NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks, was eliminated in Game 7, the same fate befell the Suns.
The Suns’ best players have been abused by Luka and Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie and their teammates.
Sunday night, Luka scored 35 points with 10 rebounds. Dinwiddie, who couldn’t hit the air early in this series, went 30 on 11 of 15 shots.
Sunday night looked like Game 27 of the regular season, with a team pulled out and looking like they were playing their fourth game in six days.
The other team was loose and shooting like they weren’t being defended by anyone.
Blame Suns coach Monty Williams for failing to counter Mavs coach Jason Kidd after Game 2.
Blame Paul, who the Mavericks exposed after Game 2. Also add Devin Booker.
After scoring 19 points and 28 points in Games 1 and 2, Paul looked slow. He looked old.
He hasn’t scored more than 13 points in any of the series’ remaining games. On Sunday, he scored 10 points on eight shots.
He’s 37, and while he might have a few NBA games left in those legs, the Mavs have finished him.
Booker has no excuse.
This season’s MVP contender, he scored 11 points Sunday night on 3-of-14 shooting. As bad as he played in the Suns’ Game 6 loss, he was somehow worse on Sunday.
Ayton should have averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds in this series. He didn’t approach.
In Game 7, the most dominant big man in this series playing against a small roster was gone before the whistleblower. He scored 5 points with 4 rebounds Sunday night.
BTW: Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was selected two picks ahead of Doncic. The same Doncic who was traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the Mavs.
Doncic was the best player in this series; Ultimately, he’s the main reason the Mavs upset the Suns and are in the Western Conference Finals.
Chris Paul had his chances, but Doncic ended them and the Suns.
This story was originally published May 15, 2022 9:26 p.m.