Is Chris Paul Playing Tonight in Game 5 vs Nuggets?

The Phoenix Suns have won the last two games to tie the second round series against the Denver Nuggets at two games apiece. Things didn’t look promising at all after the Nuggets dominated the opening two games in Colorado and got even worse after Suns point guard Chris Paul injured his hamstring. He left in the middle of Game 2 and hasn’t played ever since. The Suns are aware that they need their point guard back, but at the same time, they are not rushing him back since they may need him even more if they advance to the Western Conference finals.

That looked like a huge blow to coach Monty Williams, who lost his star point guard and was left with Cameron Payne to run the Suns offense. However, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant went into beast mode and get the Suns back in the series. Chris Paul’s absence was not felt and there are analysts who went out with brave statements that the Suns play better without Paul in the lineup. Whether some agree with that or not, the biggest question going into Game 5 is Paul playing tonight.

Is Chris Paul Playing Tonight in Game 5 vs Nuggets?
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What’s Paul’s Injury Status Ahead of Game 5 of the Series?

After the Suns won both games in Phoenix, the series moves back to Denver for Game 5. Going into that one, Chris Paul is listed as out and will most likely his status will not be changed before the game. Paul went out in game 2 left groin tightness and missed the next two games. He appeared to suffer the injury with just under five minutes left in the third quarter of Game 2 after going up for a defensive rebound against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

How important is Paul for the Suns?

Despite being 38 years old, Chris Paul is still the engine of the Suns offense. He averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists per game in the regular season and 12.4 points and 7.4 assists per game in the Playoffs. His contribution for the Suns is much bigger than the numbers can show. With his experience and ability to read the game, Paul seems irreplicable. However, the Suns have some of the best scorers in the game in Booker and Durant who picked up their game and got the Suns back in the series. Booker scored a career Playoff high 47 points in Game 3 121-114 Suns win. Durant had 36 points and 11 rebounds in the following game and Booker took over some of the playmaking role dishing out 12 assists for the Suns.

Who will start in Paul’s place?

Cameron Payne is the player who stepped in Chris Paul place in the starting lineup in the previous two games and will do the same in Game 5. Payne had 5 points and 4 assists in Game 3 and 7 points and 6 assist in the following one which is much lower than Paul’s average. There is no third point guard on the Suns roster and Booker will also step in in that role. Terrence Ross is another option but he will most likely play as a back up shooting guard.

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