“Houston almost beating Golden State, that’s almost as big an accomplishment — or better — than Golden State winning,” said Steve Nash on “The Old Man & the Three” podcast. But Chris Paul doesn’t look at it that way. He doesn’t have the sense of accomplishment for taking the Warriors seven. What CP feels is regret.
I think about it most when I think about the strides that I made, as far as how good my body feels now, and I just feel like ‘damn.’ That was probably one of the hardest things to deal with.Chris Paul, The Old Man and The Three
What made it even harder is that Paul couldn’t be out there for both of the closeout games since he went down with a hamstring injury at the end of Game 5. The Warriors beat the Rockets 115-86 in Game 6 and did the same in a win-or-go-home game after Houston missed 27 straight threes – a new playoff record for consecutive missed three-pointers – as they ended up losing 101-92.
The Rockets lacked a veteran who would slow down the play and recognize the three-point heavy offensive system isn’t the way to do it. Chris Paul would’ve been that guy for Houston, but unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything about it. All he could do is watch, and it made him sick.
According to Chris, that was the moment he started questioning everything. It wasn’t so much about losing the series. It was more about not having the opportunity to affect it after going through so much to get in such a position in the first place. Paul had a rough time dealing with that. It put him in a dark place for weeks after the series was over.
But he’s over it. A 35-year-old point guard is now with the Suns, hoping to make another run similar to the one with the Rockets in ’18—only this time, with a different outcome. You’d hate to look at that Warriors series 10 years from now and talk about it being the closest CP3 had gotten to winning a championship. He’s an all-time great, and the only thing missing on his resume is an NBA title. Hopefully, he’ll get another chance to win one.