• March 20, 2023

Chris Paul Out Indefinitely Because of Coronavirus Protocols

After leading the Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference finals, Chris Paul is at risk of missing at least part of the series after entering the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols.

At first it was not known how quickly Paul could return to the suns. The Suns announced on Wednesday that Paul was “currently out” based on the logs and that they would next provide an update on his status on Saturday.

Factors that will determine how long 36-year-old Paul will be away from the sun include his vaccination status and whether he tested positive for the coronavirus. Players who test positive are usually isolated for 10 to 14 days, but isolation time can be shortened if a player is vaccinated depending on the circumstances.

The prospect of Phoenix losing Paul after snagging a seat in the conference finals through a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets on Sunday was the latest blow to an NBA postseason that was rocked by a string of health absences for star players.

After the Los Angeles Clippers announced on Wednesday that striker Kawhi Leonard would be sidelined indefinitely with a sprained right knee, Leonard was poised to become the eighth All-Star to miss at least one playoff game this year due to an injury . That is the most in the history of the league, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Leonard injured his knee in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Clippers against the Utah Jazz.

The seven other all-stars on this list: Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, Jaylen Brown of Boston, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley of Utah, and James Harden and Kyrie Irving of the Nets. The Clippers said Leonard would miss Game 5 against the Jazz on Wednesday night. Paul would be the ninth All-Star to miss time this postseason if he can’t get back to the Suns before the conference finale, which will begin on Sunday or Tuesday.

With what is perhaps the best series of his career, Paul just secured his second trip to the conference finals of his 16-year career. He averaged 25.5 points per game, shot 62.7 percent out of the field and scored just five ball losses against 41 assists in his four games against Denver.

Paul’s only previous appearance in the NBA Final Four came with the Houston Rockets in 2018 and was overshadowed by a series injury. In his last two games against Golden State, he was incapacitated with a hamstring injury after Houston went 3-2 in a series. Golden State took advantage of Paul’s absence to win those two games without Paul, winning its third championship in four years.

A shoulder injury plagued Paul in the first games of the first round series of the Suns against the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers. But Paul bounced back to help the Suns capitalize on Davis ‘limited availability and eliminate the Lakers in six games, the earliest playoff-out in LeBron James’ career.

When asked about the shoulder after the swing of the nuggets through the sun, Paul said, “I’m fine now.”

The NBA started the season in December in each team’s home market rather than some other restricted-access bubble environment like the one created in Florida last summer to wrap up the 2019-20 season due to the pandemic. In the first half of the regular season, the league postponed 31 games due to coronavirus slumps that left at least one team behind in every game without at least eight players in uniform. But all 30 teams managed to wrap up their 72-game regular seasons in May, and Commissioner Adam Silver told Time Magazine in April that more than 70 percent of the league’s players had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The NBA has published weekly updates on the number of positive coronavirus tests across the league and has announced three consecutive weeks with zero positive tests since the playoffs began on May 22nd.

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