The Houston Rockets have to find a way to win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals without Chris Paul on Saturday. And if they’re unable to do that, they may be faced with the same dilemma in Game 7.
On Friday, the Rockets announced that Paul will not play in Game 6 and will be evaluated further when the team returns to Houston. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, there is already “pessimism” surrounding Paul’s status for Game 7 if it becomes necessary.
The Rockets are naturally going to make these announcements one game at a time, because that’s the right thing to do strategically, but the pessimism emanating from Houston about Paul’s ability to bounce back for a potential Game 7 is unmistakable https://t.co/u0NJHnGfaE
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 25, 2018
Paul did not seem all that concerned about his hamstring injury on Thursday night, so the fact that he was ruled out so quickly is alarming. The Rockets are calling the injury a strain, but reports have indicated CP3 was in pain when he woke up on Friday.
Considering he has played some of his best basketball of the season over the past two playoff series, Paul’s injury could not have come at a worse time. He’s averaging 19.8 points against Golden State at a time when James Harden is battling through a historically bad shooting slump. Houston’s ability to overcome adversity is going to be tested Game 6 and possibly Game 7.