Will LeBron James Play Tonight? Suns vs Lakers: Predictions, Injury Report & Lineups

Published 05/22/2021, 5:43 AM EDT
Mar 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves to the basket ahead of Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The second-seeded Phoenix Suns will play host to the winner of the first play-in game, the Los Angeles Lakers, in this enterprising start to the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs in the West. Although the Suns will have a home advantage throughout this series, the Lakers arrive into it with a five-game winning momentum with them.


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Date & Time: May 23, 2021, 3:30 pm ET

Venue: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix


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Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) hangs from the rim after slam dunking the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Preview | Phoenix Suns

 Led by the head coach of the year candidate, Monty Williams, the Suns are one of the biggest surprise packages of this season. They are making the post-season after a gap of 11 years, and many experts credit their remarkable upturn in fortunes to Chris Paul.

The former OKC guard has been leading them on the court by example. Although his numbers aren’t astronomical by any means, it is his shooting efficiency that stands outs.

In the injury department, key players, DeAndre Ayton and Cameron Johnson will miss out on this game because of their respective knee and wrist concerns. But on the bright side, they are expected to be back for the second game of this series.

Starting 5 for Phoenix Suns

Guard – Chris Paul

Guard – Devin Booker

Center – Dario Saric

Forward – Mikal Bridges

Forward – Jae Crowder

Preview | Los Angeles Lakers

In sharp contrast to their rivals, the Lakers were not healthy for most of their regular season but arrive into this contest with a full roster. With their five-game winning streak also propelling them to barely make the post-season, they are peaking just at the right time.


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With Ayton out for the Suns, the Lakers can dominate them in the paint with Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond. But they will have to look out for the back-court duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Starting 5 for Los Angeles Lakers

Guard – Dennis Schroder

Guard – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Center – Andre Drummond


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Forward – Anthony Davis

Forward – LeBron James

Predictions | Suns vs Lakers


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It is hard to look past the Lakers as the favorites for not just this matchup, but the whole series. They are the defending champions and their experience as a unit should be enough to overcome the Suns.


Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.