Chris Paul has taken a step back in his offensive firepower this season, and head coach Monty Williams is a bit concerned. Following a controversial loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, Williams doesn’t seemed pleased with his star guard’s lack of shot attempts.
Williams appeared in his postgame press conference and was questioned on Paul’s shot attempts.
“Four [shots] is just not enough,” said Williams plainly after the Suns’ lost to the Blazers.
The Phoenix Suns have only two defeats on the early season, both coming at the hands of Portland. Portland came into Friday without both Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. With that, the Suns were expected to make short work of Portland.
Given Phoenix’s next man up mantra, Portland sought to that solution as well. Jerami Grant was the hero on Friday, delivering a game-high 30 points. He also sealed the game with a go-ahead jumper to put the Blazers up 108-106. Grant’s last-minute score was controversial, given that he possibly traveled on the play.
Williams didn’t seem thrilled with Grant getting away with the travel also.
Paul is 37, and his best playing years are behind him. As such, he’s given more of the offensive duties to players such as Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Devin Booker. While his assist-to-turnover ratio has been tremendous, Phoenix will be relying on him to be more aggressive as a scoring threat. Paul is only averaging 10.1 points so far this season.
Bridges and Cameron Johnson will be the Suns’ more focal points going forward, but the consistency hasn’t met the desired expectations yet. Until that happens, Paul will have to step up when the Suns become stagnant on offense.
Phoenix has three of its four games with Portland early in the season. Having lost two already, the Suns will have a shot at redemption on Saturday against the Trail Blazers.