Former NBA Champion Explains How Chris Paul Needs to Step Up For Phoenix Suns to Stay Alive vs Milwaukee Bucks

Published 07/19/2021, 10:43 PM EDT
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) passes the ball in front of Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


The Phoenix Suns are on the backfoot as they hit the road for the do-or-die Game 6 against the Bucks. In a crazy turn of events, the Suns suddenly lost their sharpness and lost their grip over the series. 

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After taking the first two games with double-figure margins and very disciplined basketball, the Suns now face adversity. They weren’t complacent in their words but perhaps they were in their game. Now, heading to Milwaukee, it’s their time for them to gather that mental edge and listen to a former champion who has comforting words.

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Mario Elie has the mindset that the Phoenix Suns must pick

Mario Elie, a 3x NBA Champion guard-forward, played his career’s last season with the Suns in 2000-01. So naturally, he is rooting for Phoenix and also has some explanation that coach Monty must also be using to uplift his team.

In a recent interview, the 57-YO confidently expressed, “Last two games came down to one possession. So if I’m Phoenix, I should feel confident it came down to Giannis’ block in Milwaukee and Jrue Holiday had to make a great play. So if I’m Phoenix, you score those two plays, it’s a different series. So I still feel confident…”

Jul 17, 2021; Chris Paul shoots the ball as Giannis Antetokounmpo defends during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

That is as true as it gets. The Suns gave away game 4 in the final minute where they allowed Khris Middleton to take complete control of the game. And even before that, the iconic Giannis Antetokounmpo block on Devin Booker’s lob towards DeAndre Ayton made all the difference. Later in Game 5, the way they first blew a 16-point lead and then a final possession, took the game away in a giffy.

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What must Chris Paul do for the Valley in Game 6?

Coach Mario then stated how Chris Paul is the key for the Suns to make a difference. The Junkyard Dog added, “I want Chris Paul to really step up. This is what a young team… to bring a guy like Chris Paul for these types of games. I mean to see a 25 and 14 game tonight from Chris Paul in order for Phoenix to come back.”

In Game 4, CP3 had five of his team’s total 17 turnovers and that gave the Bucks immense confidence. The veteran player had 55 points in the first two games and managed just 50 points in the next three. 

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However, Chris can still draw optimism from Game 5 where he shot at 60% from the field. Although he took a more conservative approach, the man star point guard was 3/3 from long-range and that’s commendable.

So what’s your take, can the Suns come out with a champion’s mindset and win Game 6? Help us know in the comments below.

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Watch this story – Devin Booker’s Sensational Game 4 Performance and Other Notable Highlights

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Sourabh Singh

1413 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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