Suns vs. Lakers: Who Will Take A 3-2 Lead?
Currently, the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers series is tied two games apiece. With each team looking to win a pivotal Game 5 in Phoenix, what role will injuries play in the outcome of this series?
Starting with the Suns, the man whose impact took the team from missing the playoffs to a top-two seed in the Western Conference, Chris Paul. Paul injured his shoulder in a Game 1 win but has continued to play. After subpar Games 2 and 3, head coach Monty Williams told Paul he planned on sitting him for Game 4 to give Paul's shoulder a chance to recover.
"Hell nah," was CP3's response, and he backed it up with a 18-point 9-assist performance, leading the Suns to a series-tying win as well as shifting momentum back to Phoenix.
When asked for his status for Game 5, Paul simply stated, "I'll be ready."
The Lakers, however are not as fortunate. Their second-leading scorer and rebounder, Anthony Davis, is dealing with a lower leg injury. This has been an injury-riddled season for the Lakers' big who only played 36 of 72 games during the regular season.
The impact this series could have on the franchise long-term is staggering. What roster moves will the Lakers make if this group isn't good enough? How will this alter LeBron James' legacy? Will his place in the discussion of all-time greats be shifted?
One thing is guaranteed, however, King James will do everything in his power to overcome the challenge that lays ahead.
“These shoulders were built for a reason. If it takes for me to put some more on top of it, then so be it. Win, lose or draw, I’m ready for the challenge.”— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 30, 2021
- LeBron when asked if he can carry the Lakers if Anthony Davis is out Game 5
(via @MikeAScotto) pic.twitter.com/m8Isw7n8kp
Many are favoring the Suns in Game 5 due to Davis' injury, and you have to believe if the Suns can take this one, they will be able to advance to their first Western Conference Semi-Finals since the days of Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire in the 2009-10 season.
For the Lakers, if they are able to steal a win in Phoenix without their second star, their run at a title defense is a little more attainable. With all the uncertainty surrounding this playoff battle, one thing we know is we are in for a show tonight and the rest of the series.