On the podcast series of JJ Redick’s YouTube channel, JJ Redick and Kevin Durant discussed in detail Chris Paul’s bad decision-making during Game 5 of the OKC Thunder vs LA Clippers series back in the 2014 playoffs.
Undoubtedly, Chris Paul’s presence on any team has led to a tremendous improvement in their overall performance and the number of games won. He is likely to be counted as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.
Durant & Redick on Chris Paul’s miscalculations during game 5
During the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers faced off in one of the most heated playoff series. With the series tied at 2-2, the two teams traveled to Oklahoma City for Game 5, which turned out to be a thriller.
The Clippers led 104-97 with 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter. At this point, one would anticipate the Clippers to win this game, but what happened next stunned both teams. OKC managed to cut the deficit to 2 points with 18 seconds to go. Paul tried to shoot a three from the backcourt thinking he would be fouled by Westbrook but Brodie stripped the ball clean. Reggie Jackson ended up with the loose ball and went in for the layup only for the shot to be deflected by Matt Barnes.
Russell Westbrook’s game-changing free throws after Chris Paul fouls him
Much to Clipper’s displeasure, the ball was given to OKC. Jackson inbounded the ball to Westbrook who threw up a challenging 3 pointer with CP3 all over him but got fouled in the process by the Clippers’ guard. Later, Westbrook nailed all three of his free throws, and the Thunder went back up by one point, 105-104.
The Clippers had a chance to win the game with less than 6 seconds remaining, and Paul had a chance to make up for his failures. but he instead lost the ball while trying a layup and turned the ball over, culminating in a Thunder victory. The Thunder finally won the series 4-2.
JJ Redick then recalled the Clippers’ 2015 playoff series against the Houston Rockets, in which the Clippers led 3-1 but lost 4-3, as the moment he witnessed Chris Paul at his worst.
While Paul has moved on from these setbacks, it will be interesting to see whether these mistakes become the prime reasons for retiring without a title.