Is Chris Paul playing tonight against the LA Lakers in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs?

Chris Paul appeared to injure his shoulder again in game five against the LA Lakers
Chris Paul appeared to injure his shoulder again in game five against the LA Lakers

Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns are on the verge of knocking LeBron James and the LA Lakers out of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Suns could do so when they meet the Lakers in Game 6 on Thursday night.

Paul's availability for the crucial matchup is in doubt, however, as he continues to struggle with a shoulder injury sustained in the first game of the series.

The veteran point guard appeared to have aggravated the injury in Game 5 and left the floor in the third quarter. Luckily for the Phoenix Suns, they were already up by 35 points and the game was realistically over.

How will Chris Paul's ongoing injury effect the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 against the LA Lakers?

Chris Paul has been instrumental to the Phoenix Suns all year
Chris Paul has been instrumental to the Phoenix Suns all year

At the time of writing, there is positive news for Phoenix Suns fans regarding Chris Paul's availability for Game 6 at the Staples Center. Yesterday, the team's medical staff listed Paul as probable to play in the matchup.

Suns GM James Jones is also confident Paul will be ready to play.

"Chris is fine. We’ll be ready to go, he’ll be ready to go," Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. "I think he’s shown over the course of his career and specifically recently that if he’s able to help his team he’ll be out there. We’ll be good and we’ll get ready for a battle.”

Given the bad luck Paul has had with playoff injuries in the past, he won't want to miss this opportunity to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Paul looked to have shaken off the injury and seemed to be at his best in Game 4 on the road, registering 18 points, nine assists and three steals. But when he went up for a rebound against the Lakers' Wesley Matthews in Game 5, the point guard felt pain once again in his shoulder.

After the match, Chris Paul spoke to the media and stated in no uncertain terms how he felt:

"I've been talking to Kyle Lowry a lot. He had a similar injury last year and few other guys. I don't know, just a very uncomfortable feeling. Kind of helpless. When it happened, I didn't know. I was just looking up and sort of happened again."

The Phoenix Suns will be desperate for Chris Paul to play in Game 6 as they look to close out the LA Lakers. He controls their tempo on both sides of the floor and has one of the best turnover/assist ratios in the NBA. He is one of the few players with playoff experience on the Suns roster and knows what it takes to win under pressure.

On the other hand, the Suns won't want Chris Paul to aggravate his shoulder and may limit his minutes. If they are able to advance, they will need CP3's leadership for the next round against either the Portland Trail Blazers or Denver Nuggets.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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