Chris Paul has been playing with 16 pins, metal plate in right hand
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Chris Paul has been playing with 16 pins, metal plate in right hand

Chris Paul 20 20 record

Despite not selected as an All-Star, Chris Paul is having yet another sensational season. Paul is averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 9.2 assists, and 2.0 steals this season and is helping to lead the Clippers to the playoffs for the sixth straight year. He is also fourth in the league in assists and tied for second in steals with Wizards All-Star John Wall. Amazingly, Paul has been putting up these type of numbers and playing at a high level while having “16 pins and a metal plate embedded” in the palm of his right hand.

Due to his reliance on his hand quickness, Paul has had a number of finger injuries throughout his career. This season, he tore a ligament in his left thumb and missed 14 games. That injury wasn’t as serious as the one he suffered last April, which involved serious surgery and is why he has a metal plate in his right hand.

From Scott Cacciola of the New York Times:

Such is life for Paul, who cannot help putting his hands in harm’s way. He tore ligaments in his right middle finger in March 2010. He fractured his left index finger in October 2015. He broke his right hand last April, and he continues to play with 16 pins and a metal plate embedded in his palm. He shoots with that hand.

While having a significant amount of metal in your hand may seem like a disadvantage, Paul, who is right-handed, surprisingly hasn’t had any type of a drop off in his game this season. He is even shooting a career-best 41.8 percent from three and is shooting 47.0 percent. Paul’s overall averages are in line with his career as well.

But as Paul notes to Cacciola, his myriad number of finger and hand injuries have made him a bit cautious. His injuries have made him question if he should go for a steal because he is fearful that he could potentially get injured again.

But while that is just the reality Paul has to live with, he is still relying on his basketball instincts and hasn’t dramatically changed up how he plays due to his injuries. And the Clippers are thankful for that because without Paul playing like himself, any hope they have of experiencing success in the playoffs would likely be dashed.

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