Ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Player Association President Chris Paul addressed the criticism the league and the NBPA have received for the quick turnaround and how it could have affected player health.
"Man, one thing about our league and its players is everything is always a conversation," Paul said during Finals media day on Monday. "There's a ton of guys on the executive committee who are working hard on things right now, as we speak -- day in and day out, traveling.
I wish you guys knew all the things that are going on. So, decisions that are made as far as playing or not playing, players are always involved in it. "Injuries are always unfortunate. You hate to have them. But just like when we went to the bubble, everything was discussed as far as the players and the full body of players.
Everything that's good for this guy and that guy might not be the same for that guy, but everything has always been a conversation, and it's going to continue to be that way. So, if people don't like it, then you know everybody has the same opportunity to be a part of all these conversations."
Paul and Suns ready for the Bucks
"The pressure they put on the paint has been pretty consistent, even with Giannis [out], but you see a different way of doing it now with Jrue [Holiday] attacking and [Brook] Lopez diving," Suns coach Monty Williams said.
"That's been something that we have to respect. You have to respect them anyway with Giannis getting into the paint -- in transition, in isolation, when he dives in the pick-and-roll, especially with [Khris] Middleton.
So, without Giannis, there seems to be a different way of attacking the paint. And then all of their guys that crash the boards. "So, they haven't stopped playing the way they want to play. The pressure on the paint has been pretty consistent in the playoffs."
Suns center DeAndre Ayton is preparing for the Finals as if Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will be back on the court sometime in the series "Mainly just matching his physicality and, at the end of the day, just competing," Ayton told ESPN during a segment on The Jump.
"You cannot back down from the challenge. Just knowing his foul awareness, being the first man on defense and just showing him a wall. At the end of the day, you want to stay between him and the ball. "It's just being ready for the challenge, period."