Suns’ margin of error in NBA Finals narrowed more than Ant-Man’s

Jae Crowder # 99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals at the Fiserv Forum on July 14, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

I have to but I don’t want to. I know what will happen the minute I hit play.

Frustration. Anger. Those anxious feelings of doubt that creep in. The fear of familiarity and the fear of the mere possibility that this team will break my heart again.

But I have to review the last five minutes of this game. I have to see it again so that I can remember how it all happened. My notes are quite confusing on this subject.

I mean, technically I don’t have to. I can do my job without it. But it all happened so fast. Isn’t that the first thing you say to the police officer after being involved in a car accident?

“It all happened so fast.”

The Suns got T-Boned tonight at the intersection of Destiny Street and History Avenue. The Milwaukee Bucks hit them. Or Chris Paul dozed off at the wheel. Anyway, there are car parts everywhere, giant flares on the road and all we have to say is …

So I will see him again. Read my notes again. But I know what I’m going to see.

I wonder if Devin Booker should have been reinserted into the game sooner than he was. I’m going to see some stupid mistakes he should never have made in the first place. I’m going to balance that with how phenomenal he’s been throughout. And thinking about that, I’m counting the number of times Booker should have fouled out of the game once he came back. No one can ever argue that Booker isn’t a superstar because the boy got the star treatment with a few of those no-calls.

I will marvel at Giannis [Antetokounmpo] lob block to Deandre Ayton. I’m a Suns fan through and through, but I can appreciate a masterpiece when I see one and this baby has a place in a museum surrounded by velvet ropes. It was the play that – if the Suns don’t win this series (and more on that in a moment) – we’ll see each other again in our nightmares. And even. And even.

I’m going to be especially worried about Chris Paul. So sloppy with the ball all night. 15 turnovers in his last three games. Is he hurt? Is it worn out? Or the real blow; is the moment (sip) too big for him? This story that tormented him throughout his career has just returned to the consciousness of all NBA fans around the world.

If Paul is even half the player he has been this season, the Suns could have been one win away from their very first title. Instead, every time the ball was in his hands, it was an exercise in faith. Faith that he will make the right decision. That he will hit the jackpot. That he’ll find the right guy. Sometimes he did. At the end of the game, he certainly didn’t. CP3 has just recovered a small additional baggage for the return home.

Now this series is officially becoming the stuff of legend. A best of three with two of three in downtown Phoenix. So let’s be clear; the advantage still lies in the Suns. The Bucks will have to win here next Saturday or Thursday and I’m going to assume now that the Suns come out and play with the kind of energy reserved for big power plants or Marvel superheroes.

But the margin of error has shrunk compared to Ant-Man and the Bucks must be feeling right now. And a 2-0 grip on the NBA Finals has turned into a fan base wondering if their team is doomed to climb so far so fast only to fall just before the summit.

I pushed it away long enough. It’s time to click on “play”.

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