NBA Playoffs: 3 lessons OKC Thunder learned from Western Conference Finals

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 24: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets grabs his leg after falling against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 24: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets grabs his leg after falling against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
NBA Playoffs
HOUSTON, TX – MAY 24: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets grabs his leg after falling against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Impactful Injuries

The Basketball Gods can be very cruel sometimes, such as Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Rockets guard Chris Paul injured his right hamstring. The injury held Paul out of the final two games of the series. It was not Paul’s first time suffering a devastating injury at the most inopportune time.

Furthermore, Thunder Nation can relate to Rockets fans and the sorrow from Paul’s Injury. Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka have both suffered injuries during the playoffs in the past. Coincidentally, Ibaka suffered his injury against Paul when he was still with the LA Clippers. The sports world is full of ‘what ifs’ and Paul’s injury is just the latest installment on an endless list.

The Danger of trying to draw fouls

The practice of trying to draw a foul is never going away in the NBA. However, regardless if the whistle blows the act does not come without risks. What I’ve failed to hear any fan or pundit mention is CP3 injured himself creating contact with Quinn Cook.

In the above clip, Paul can be seen once in the air sticking his leg out and hooking Cook. Coming into Game 5 Paul had played 479 minutes in the playoffs plus another 38 in Game 5. Paul is 33 years old and injured his right hamstring earlier in the season as well. CP3’s hamstring could have given out anyway we’ll never know, what we do know is it gave out trying to draw a foul.

Paul is not alone in trying to draw fouls. Two players in the series Kevin Durant and James Harden make a living at the charity stripe. Westbrook does his fair share of waiting for a whistle to bail him out. The next time a player looks for a call remember Paul’s injury because it proves what can happen in these circumstances.