The Phoenix Suns defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 series lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff showdown.
Unfortunately, the win was not without controversy.
Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado has quietly emerged as one of the standout stars of the postseason thus far. His persistent and irritating defensive tactics have gotten under Chris Paul’s skin to a noticeable degree, and they have been instrumental in his team’s success up to this point.
How annoyed has Paul been with Alvarado? So much so that he partook in a particularly dirty play during Tuesday’s affair:
Reactions to the incident were swift:
One day we gonna talk about how Chris Paul is actually a dirty player https://t.co/1mAxCAxpnL
— billy matthews (@adi_carl) April 27, 2022
Remember when CP3 punched Herb in the face on a layup and kicked Alvarado in the groin? Or do you have selective amnesia? If we’re removing players from the series for dirty plays, let’s start with Chris Paul.
— Big Game James aka Ice Cold Coleman aka Dr. Chill (@IceColdColeman) April 27, 2022
CHRIS PAUL IS A DIRTY PLAYER…
— COMEDIAN GAMBLER (@COMEDIANGAMBLER) April 27, 2022
Chris Paul has always been a dirty player https://t.co/FrJIckhptp
— Justin (@justinp1015) April 27, 2022
This isn’t the first time Paul has had his issue. He has previously stirred up controversy in a similar fashion when he committed a comparable dirty play against one of his best friends. That led to something of a prolonged beef, which was ultimately squashed. Paul, ultimately, was not suspended for his actions.
It will be interesting to see if that will be the case here as well.
Despite getting away with one in Game 5, ironically enough, Paul had he gall to criticize referees after the fact for being unfair to him.
Chris Paul explained how he got a technical foul after he had an 8-second call on him caused by Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado in Game 5’s Q4 at 4:40 to play. pic.twitter.com/hrbB3rIhOa
— DANA (@iam_DanaScott) April 27, 2022
“If I say ‘come on,’ is that a tech?” Paul said. “It’s out of control man. That’s ridiculous. But it is what it is.”
The big question now is whether the league will intervene. Obviously if Paul were to get suspended, it would be a huge blow for Phoenix since the team is already missing star Devin Booker.
That said, given the fact that Karl-Anthony Towns went unpunished for his dirty play last week, and taking into account that we’ve literally seen one player break another’s wrist with no recourse, it’s safe to assume that Paul will likely be on the floor for Game 6.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/GoLqaCaXaT
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 27, 2022
Should the NBA make an example out of Paul over his dirty play on Alvarado? Probably, yes.
Will they? It seems unlikely.