Phoenix Suns vs LA Clippers WCF Injury Updates: Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul Set to Miss Game 1

Published 06/20/2021, 12:56 AM EDT
May 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) dribbles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


This year, everything is insanely different and at odds with what a regular human would have imagined. Imagine the Phoenix Suns knocking out the Lakers while the Clippers play their first conference final in 51 years. Also, imagine as many as nine All-Stars succumbing to injury during the NBA playoffs.

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These are not the normal times and the teams which have advanced in the postseason have tested under fire. The Phoenix Suns, for one, have been exceptional even against the league MVP, taming the big man down just the way they pleased. But now, they face an even greater challenge and it has nothing to do with the Clippers.

Chris Paul will not rise with the Phoenix Suns in Game 1

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May 23, 2021; Chris Paul reacts after suffering an injury at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

The Suns released their injury list where they have Chris Paul listed out because of health and safety protocols. Right after playing the Nuggets and bundling them up in four games, CP3 tested positive for coronavirus. Unfortunately for the Suns, the Clippers vs the Jazz series did not go into game 7, or else Devin Booker and men could’ve enjoyed the advantage of optimum rest against a tired team.

The Suns will miss their point guard for more than one reason. In his last outing, CP3 scored 37 points in 40 minutes, making a strong case for his scoring abilities. The Suns would now have to make up for his playmaking skills and find a way to break Clippers’ 5-game win streak. 

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Clippers will also miss Kawhi Leonard

Jun 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) reacts during the second half in game seven of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers played their last two games without Kawhi Leonard after the 2x NBA Champion injured himself. However, Terence Mann jumped on the opportunity and proved his worth in The Claw’s absence. 

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Now, if the Phoenix side wants to pull a similar stunt, they’ll have to keep their standby option ready as ever. Cameron Payne, a 6’1” point guard himself, playing in his fifth NBA season and his third postseason, might get to fill in. Although the star had started just one regular game in this entire year, Monty Williams might use him. The Campaign Killa is currently averaging 10+ points in the series with 100% free throw accuracy and makes a strong case for himself.

For now, one thing is sure, both the teams are weighing equal on the weigh scale with Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard sitting out. So who do you think holds a bigger shot at winning? Helps us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1439 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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