It’s a melancholy morning for Houston Rockets fans, who can’t really savor the Game 5 win over the Warriors without knowing the status of Chris Paul’s hamstring.
TNT’s Kristen Ledlow confirmed that the late 4th quarter injury was to Paul’s right hamstring and he is currently receiving treatment. Ledlow added Paul will be re-evaluated tomorrow. Cp3 avoided the media after the game, which was surprising, given that he was the hero, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the 2nd half after a brutal 0-for-7 first half.
The struggles for James Harden continued, but CP3 – and Eric Gordon, who added 24 points – helped Houston put Kevin Durant on the brink of elimination for the first time since joining the Warriors.
Of course, until the severity of the injury and availability of Paul is made clear, the Rocket’s fate remains in doubt.
If Paul is 100 percent, you’d have to favor the Rockets to win one of the next two games. Houston hasn’t lost back-to-back games since January.
If he is unable to go or is clearly limited, the smart money is on them not winning again this season. Mike D'Antoni has a big decision to make: Is it really worth even risking CP3 in Game 6 on the road in a game the Warriors are favored by -10.5?
[UPDATE: The Rockets have announced that Chris Paul will miss Game 6.]
It would seem that under this circumstance, D’Antoni should still absolutely start Paul but then see how the game is flowing. If the Warriors take a big lead early and/or Paul is hobbled, that should be the end of his night.
Another potential scenario to watch is if Paul is healthy enough to get a win against the Warriors but then furthers his injury in the process. If so, it would lead to a situation in which they may not be able to beat the Cavaliers or the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Who could have imagined that?
Obviously, it would put a huge damper on the NBA if, as soon as the games become watchable, Chris Paul’s injury is severe. It is now waiting time for the entire NBA, but unless the news is better than expected, the Warriors must be the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy come season end.
This cannot be replaced in a matter of days: