1. After a lackluster Game 5 with .375 FG% and 5 turnovers–worsened by a catastrophic and out of character performance in the last 13 seconds that included two TOs and a foul–Paul now has the perfect opportunity to atone. His status as the Clippers team leader, and one that especially feels emboldened in late-game situations, further magnifies his horrendous play as the game winded down and his team left shocked by a thunderous comeback. Thus, the mistake-laden finish to Game 6 is seemingly reparable if Paul now efficiently assumes the leading role for LA and guides his team to live another day.
2. The Los Angeles Clippers have suffered a lifeless playoff history, failing to ever advance past the second round of the playoffs, where the team currently resides and once again lies on the brink of a dismal exit. As a figure that has revitalized the organization, Paul can truly put his stamp on the Clips by taking them to new heights, namely those in the postseason. The process starts with none other than overcoming the 3-2 series deficit at hand, making the imminent Game 6 matchup a must-win, as well as designating the game as the most significant for CP3 in a Clips uniform–at the very least.
3. Throughout his 9-year NBA career, Paul has acquired the reputation as a superb regular season player. This characterization elicits an equivocal tone: while Paul has gradually developed into the best point guard in the league, he nonetheless has not achieved any defining success in the postseason–qualifying for the playoffs in six of his nine seasons, but only advancing as far as the 2nd round. The realization and following criticism of Paul’s lack of playoff credentials has begun to pick up steam as of late. If he and his fellow Clippers bow out to the Thunder in this 2nd round series, Paul’s rank as among basketball’s best will be harshly thrown under question, perhaps akin to the experience LeBron James had to live through. Therefore, two more LA wins are not only imperative for the team’s collective aspirations, but even more so for Paul as he now potentially faces a career-altering moment (this comes ironically of course, as Paul would be the last player to view his successes as paramount to his team’s).