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Chris Paul still in COVID health and safety protocols, out for Game 1 vs. Clippers

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Chris Paul is out indefinitely for the Suns as he enters COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson explains how the unknown timeline of CP3's potential return puts Phoenix in a tricky spot.

The storyline could be “Chris Paul faces former team in quest to reach NBA Finals.”

Instead, it’s “Will Chris Paul get a chance to be on the court in conference finals?”

Chris Paul remains in the league’s health and safety protocols and is out for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Suns announced on Saturday. They added that further updates would be provided “as appropriate.”

Phoenix hosts Game 1 of the series against the Clippers on Sunday, with Game 2 on Tuesday.

“Obviously, he’s a big part of our team and we don’t know if he’s going to be available tomorrow or not, but we’re ready to play regardless,” Devin Booker said on Saturday.

Officially, CP3 is in the league’s health and safety protocols, and that’s all the team or league can legally say. What we know is that one player tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week, and Paul is the only player left in the playoffs who is in health and safety protocols. According to multiple reports, Paul was vaccinated. This appears to be a breakthrough COVID case, although having the vaccine does lessen the symptoms, according to studies.

To return to the court, Paul has to have two negative coronavirus tests 24 hours apart, plus pass a cardiac stress test.

The Clippers will be without Kawhi Leonard for Game 1 — and likely the entire series — as he did not travel to Phoenix with the team to continue to rehab his sprained knee.

Even without Paul for Game 1, the Suns are 4-point favorites to win the game and -225 to win the series, according to our partners at PointsBet.