Chris Paul may not play in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, but it doesn’t sound like it will be for lack of trying.
Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated reported Monday that, with tipoff looming, Paul is still doing everything possible to play despite a hamstring injury.
Latest on Chris Paul from a Rockets source, “He’s trying his best.”
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 28, 2018
That doesn’t sound particularly optimistic, but it’s something. As of Sunday, Paul hadn’t tested the hamstring, and while coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t optimistic, he wasn’t ruling anything out. The Rockets are doing everything within their power to at least get Paul on the court, though even if that works out, it’s hard to imagine him being all that effective.
Chris Paul’s status for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals will not be determined until close to tipoff, as the Houston Rockets point guard has yet to test it out.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said in his Sunday conference call that Paul will be officially listed as questionable, but it may not be until Monday afternoon that a decision is made on his status. Paul is receiving near-constant treatment on his injured hamstring in the hope that he’ll be able to suit up.
Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul's Game 7 status: "I think it's a game-time decision. Probably doubtful, however they list it, or questionable. They will eventually test it and see if there's any possibility whatsoever." Paul has not tested his hamstring since straining it in Game 5.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 27, 2018
Mike D'Antoni says Chris Paul is listed as questionable for Game 7. Sounds like it'll be a 24/7 treatment deal up until a decision has to be made tomorrow.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 27, 2018
In reality, it’s unlikely Paul plays given the nature of the injury that he suffered in Game 5. Even if he did, it would be a big question mark as to how effective he’d be. Houston is probably planning to play the decisive game without him.
Mike D’Antoni is not revealing much about Chris Paul’s status ahead of Game 7.
D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets lost 115-86 to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday to force a Game 7 on Monday night in Houston. The big question entering the game has to do with CP3’s status.
Paul injured his right hamstring at the end of Game 5 and was unable to play in Game 6. After the Rockets lost, D’Antoni was asked about Paul’s status for Game 7.
“Not thinking about it because I don’t know,” D’Antoni said. “I have no idea. I wasn’t pre-med. The doctors … they’ll tell me. I have no idea.”
D’Antoni also said that he wouldn’t reveal Paul’s status until closer to game-time on Monday. The likelihood is that he won’t be able to make a miraculous recovery. One report has said the Rockets are not optimistic about CP3’s status.
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.
Chris Paul said after his team’s big win on Thursday that he expected to be fine for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, but his hamstring injury was apparently more serious than he thought.
On Friday, the Houston Rockets announced that Paul will not play in Game 6. The point guard has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain and is listed as day to day.
Rockets announce that Chris Paul is out for Game 6 due to a right hamstring strain. He will be-evaluated when the team returns to Houston.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 25, 2018
One report indicated that Paul was in pain when he woke up on Friday morning, so the Rockets can only hope the injury is not something that will affect him long-term. Either way, it must be somewhat serious if CP3 is missing a potential series-clinching game that could send Houston to the NBA Finals.
Paul battled a left hamstring injury during the regular season, but the latest injury is to his right hamstring. He appeared to suffer it while landing awkwardly on a floater attempt late in Game 5.
Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul sounds like he’s facing an uphill battle to play in Game 6.
Paul injured his hamstring late in Houston’s Game 5 victory over the Golden State Warriors, but a team source told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Friday morning that Paul was in pretty bad shape after a night to rest.
"Not good," a Rockets source replied to a text asking about Chris Paul (hamstring) feels this morning.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 25, 2018
Paul anticipated that he’d be alright for Game 6 immediately after Thursday’s contest, and perhaps he will end up being right. The fact that he’s apparently still suffering as of Friday morning, however, is a bad sign. It may be more likely than not that he has to sit out at least one game.
Stephen Curry got a taste of his own medicine during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night when Chris Paul shimmied in his face, but the two-time NBA MVP is not offended.
Curry has been known to shimmy after hitting big shots, and CP3 mocked him over it after the Rockets point guard hit a big 3-pointer late in the third quarter.
Hold up Chris Paul DID NOT JUST SHIMMY IN STEPH’S FACE!!! pic.twitter.com/Dn2Uzqm114
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) May 25, 2018
When reporters asked Curry for his thoughts on being taunted, he said he had no issue with it.
Steph Curry on Chris Paul's shimmy "If you can shimmy on someone else you have to be okay getting shimmied on" pic.twitter.com/WcHetKIusP
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 25, 2018
“It was well deserved,” Curry said. “It was a tough shot. If you can shimmy on someone else, you gotta be alright getting shimmied on. So I’ll keep shimmying and maybe he will too. We’ll see what happens.”
Paul’s play in the series is one of the biggest reasons the Rockets are up 3-2, though there is some concern over an injury he suffered in the final minute of Game 5. Assuming CP3 is healthy, we likely haven’t seen the last of his friendly rivalry with Curry.