Here’s How Much the Suns Are Missing Chris Paul

The Suns need Chis Paul to get back healthy this season.
The Suns need Chis Paul to get back healthy this season. / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns have a lot to be happy about with the best record in the entire league and an eight-game lead in the Western Conference over the Warriors.

But their chances of holding on to that lead took a massive hit a couple of weeks ago when Chris Paul suffered a right-hand injury. At 36 years old, Paul found a second wind and has re-emerged as one of the best players in the league.

He earned his 12th All-Star selection this year and is averaging 14.9 points, 10.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 58 games. Paul’s absence has left the Suns without their best player, team leader and on-court veteran presence all at once. Paul being the point guard is also in charge of running the offense. 

Our very own Ben Heisler put Paul’s impact on this team into context with a recent tweet on the matter.  When Paul is on the court, the Suns' offensive rating is 117.9. Without him, it drops to 110.5.

He adds that the Utah Jazz leads the NBA at 115.9 and at 110.5 the Suns would fall to 19th overall. This team now has to find a way to up that number without Paul at least for the remainder of the regular season. At this point, they are still going to make the playoffs. But, it remains to be seen if they can keep their lead intact. 

Luckily for this team, Devin Booker picked up the ball-handling work and he scored 25 points and had 12 assists in his first game without Paul. And, as it turns out, Booker is well equipped to handle these extra responsibilities.

The team overall has done a fantastic job of adjusting to life without their field general. In the first six games without Paul, the Suns have gone 3-3. And while those aren’t championship numbers, it’s a good sign that they didn’t just go into a tailspin.

However, it is worth noting that those three wins came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks. A trio of teams that are nowhere close to .500 teams.

With upcoming stretches against some much better teams, we will get a better idea as to where this team stands over the next couple of weeks.