Neither the Phoenix Suns or Los Angeles Lakers seem to be able to avoid injuries to their stars this series.
Anthony Davis went down with a groin strain against the Suns after playing only 19 minutes in Game 4, which ruled him out completely of the second half. It’s just been the latest problem in an injury-plagued season for Davis, who has also dealt with leg problems all year.
The loss of their best player from Game 2 and 3 was too much for the Lakers to overcome, and even a 25 point, 12 rebound and six assist performance from LeBron James was not enough to save them from falling 100-92 and allowing the series to get tied at 2-2, giving Phoenix back the home court advantage for the final three games of the first round series.
Chris Paul, the Suns’ floor general, seemed to be a little better today, scoring 18 points along with three rebounds, nine assists and three steals. If you’ll remember, he injured his shoulder in Game 1 and simply didn’t look right in the two contests that followed until getting back into form a bit in Game 4.
These injuries are really unfortunate, because the two squads at full strength are capable of putting together an all-time classic series that would be competitive and full of on-court drama that doesn’t involve anyone getting hurt. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was already unavailable for the Lakers too thanks to a knee injury suffered in Game 3.
It’s not fun as a neutral fan to know that we can’t get the best out of both teams because their players aren’t at 100%, and losing a game-changer like Paul or Davis just causes the rest of us to suffer, too. It doesn’t matter to me who wins or loses in this series, but all I want to see if both teams get a fair shake at winning.
Now, with a the series tied 2-2, all I’m hoping for is AD to come back healthy and CP3 to continue recovering from his shoulder injury. Devin Booker still hasn’t found his stride back since having a great 34-point game in the series opener. He needs Paul to be at his best, and James clearly needs Davis as well.
It’s just unfortunate that we’ve had to watch multiple games where one side has just tried to survive after one of their stars went down. Let’s hope for the best in Games 5 to 7.