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Caldwell-Pope will play for Lakers in Game 5, Anthony Davis is out

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Michael Holley and Michael Smith discuss if the 2021 NBA Playoffs will be remembered more for fan misconduct or player injuries and debate if the Los Angeles Lakers have ever been fully healthy against the Phoenix Suns.

UPDATE: It is now official. As expected, Anthony Davis is out for the Lakers’ Game 5 against the Suns on Tuesday night. Markieff Morris will start in Davis’ place.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel confirmed pregame that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would suit up and play for the Lakers in Game 5.

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The Lakers look like they will get one of their starters back for a critical Game 5 Tuesday against the Suns in a series tied 2-2. Just not the one they most need.

The good news is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to play after missing Game 4 with a knee contusion, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN. This was expected after KCP himself said he felt much better after an off-day practice on Monday.

Caldwell Pope’s shooting from 3 — he hit 41% from beyond the arc during the season, although he has struggled and is 1-of-13 in this series — is needed against a Suns team packing the paint on defense. He’s also one of the Lakers’ best perimeter defenders and is a big boost facing a team with Devin Booker and a looking healthy again Chris Paul.

The bad news is it is still unlikely that Anthony Davis will go for the Lakers. Davis suffered a Grade 1 groin strain on Sunday, missing the second half of Game 4, and with him out the Lakers struggled to get points inside or run a fluid offense with him out of the game.

Nothing on either player is official, both will be game-time decisions by the Lakers. Davis has not been ruled out. However, the writing seems to be on the wall.

This season, the Lakers were 1-6 against playoff teams with LeBron James playing but Davis out. Whether LeBron can lift the Lakers to a win without Davis Tuesday night may well determine this series.