Chris Paul needs plenty of time to rest. Maybe even an entire off-season.
It won't begin yet for the Clippers and their point guard.
Paul ignored a strained hamstring that had his coach openly wondering about his speed. He shrugged off a sore left thumb that needs to avoid contact to heal.
All he did in Game 7 on Saturday against Golden State was score 22 points and hand out 14 assists. He also had four steals and only two turnovers.
All in 42 minutes. Six minutes' rest was all Paul got Saturday in the Clippers' 126-121 victory at Staples Center.
The Clippers have little time to breathe because they begin the Western Conference semifinals Monday at Oklahoma City.
"Man, just got done with Steph [Curry] and then go right on to Russell [Westbrook], right?" Paul said. "Y'all say a special prayer for me tonight."
Forgetting physical issues for a second, Paul was also thrown into the middle of the Donald Sterling chaos over the last week. He is the president of the NBA's players' union.
Mental fatigue? There could have been plenty of that if not for one small change he made in his life.
"It was tough that first day but I got rid of my phone," he said, smiling. "I did. Seriously. I got rid of my phone for the rest of the playoffs. It's been quite relaxing, to tell you the truth. My wife, my parents, my brother... and my teammates, I don't need to talk to nobody else right now."
Paul's numbers had decreased across the board before Game 7.
His scoring average had slid from 19.1 points in the regular season to 16.7 in the first six playoff games. His assists were down from 10.7 to 8.2 a game, and his shooting accuracy had dropped from 46.7% in the regular season to 40.2% in the first six playoff games.
Paul's coach was, yeah, slightly concerned about him before Game 7.
"He just can't get away from anybody offensively," Doc Rivers said, more concerned about the strained hamstring than the sore thumb. "When you watch him in film, he really struggles where he's great on the [isolations], especially on the elbows, he just can't get away from anybody."
He got away from enough people in Game 7. And he made eight of 15 shots, solid for a point guard.
"It's been emotional but it's over now," Paul said. "Now we've got to focus on OKC."