Chris Paul is expected to be ready for at least part of the NBA Finals in the case that his Houston Rockets advance past the Golden State Warriors.
Paul has a Grade 2 hamstring strain, which he suffered late in the Rockets’ Game 5 win in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday. The injury kept him out of Game 6 on Saturday and Game 7 on Monday.
In the first quarter of Game 7, TNT’s Kristen Ledlow reported that Paul could be ready for Game 1 of the NBA Finals if the Rockets advance. She noted that the expectation is that he would be ready for Game 3.
Game 1 of the Finals will be on Thursday, May 31. Game 3 would be on Wednesday, June 3 in Cleveland. Paul would have nearly two full weeks of recovery time before Game 3 of the Finals.
Chris Paul’s hamstring injury is apparently pretty significant.
Paul was ruled out for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday, which will mark the second straight game of the series he will miss for the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors. He suffered the injury late in Game 5. Even if his Rockets were to advance to the NBA Finals, there’s no guarantee he would be able to play.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that Paul has a Grade 2 hamstring strain. She points out that the same injury cost James Harden nearly three weeks in January.
CP3 is averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 points per game this postseason. The team is 11-4 in games he has played this postseason.
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.