Chris Paul may not be playing for the Houston Rockets, but he’s finding ways to affect the game.
Paul was called for a technical foul during the second quarter of the Rockets’ game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. TNT did not share any details about what Paul had done, but he was seen sarcastically cheering afterwards.
Chris Paul managed to get a technical foul in street clothes pic.twitter.com/eFj1Ad9F08
— ??Ellis the Menace (@DFSBBallGuy) December 28, 2018
The referees seemed to be making a point to Houston. Over the next few minutes, they called Mike D’Antoni for a technical foul for complaining about a call and Clint Capela got a tech for hanging on the rim following a dunk.
Paul injured his hamstring a week ago and is expected to miss at least another week. He’s making sure the refs don’t forget about him even while injured.
Austin Rivers is dispelling the notion of an awkward reunion between him and Chris Paul in Houston.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, the newly-signed Rockets guard said that he had no issues with Paul and that the two worked out together over the summer, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Austin Rivers said if he and Chris Paul had issues with one another he wouldn't be here. Said they worked out together this off season.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 24, 2018
Rivers, who was teammates with Paul on the LA Clippers for three seasons from 2015 to 2017, will provide extra backcourt depth for the Rockets with Paul currently looking at a multi-week absence due to a hamstring strain.
As for the past history between the two, the Clippers of that era were infamous for their dysfunctional locker room environment, and Paul’s exit from LA two summers ago led to some reports that he resented Rivers, among others. Rivers was quick to clear the air over those reports however, and it sounds like the two have long resolved whatever tensions they may have had in the past.
The Houston Rockets have struggled anytime Chris Paul is not in their lineup this year, and it sounds like they are going to have to find ways to win without the star point guard for a significant portion of the regular season.
Paul left Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat with a hamstring injury, and NBA reporter Peter Vecsey was told by sources that he suffered a Grade 3 tear. CP3 could be held out through the All-Star break, which is in mid-February.
Chris Paul initially out 6-8 weeks. More than likely until after the all star break. MRI will reveal tomorrow if surgery is needed but source says definitely a grade 3 tear. Doesn’t look good. Austin Rivers may have a home.
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) December 21, 2018
Paul had previously been bothered by a left hamstring injury this season, and he has battled them throughout his career. The Rockets are 16-15 and off to a slow start, and they are 0-5 in games that Paul hasn’t played.
Paul dealt with a hamstring injury that caused him to be unavailable at a crucial time in the playoffs last year, so Houston obviously wants to make sure he is available late in the year. That could mean playing it cautious with him over the next couple of months and trying to somehow stay afloat without him.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Chris Paul is expected to miss time with a hamstring injury.
CP3 left Thursday night’s Houston Rockets game against the Miami Heat in the second quarter due to his hamstring.
The word on Chris Paul: "It'll be some time," Mike D'Antoni said. MRI tomorrow on the left hamstring.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 21, 2018
The Rockets lost the game 101-99, with Paul only playing 13 minutes before departing. CP has played 26 of the Rockets’ 31 games this season. He has been bothered by his left hamstring this season. Last season he dealt with a right hamstring injury, which caused him to be unavailable at the end of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.
Houston is 0-5 without CP3 in the lineup this season. They’re 0-6 including Thursday’s game where he only played 13 minutes.
Chris Paul’s reputation as a teammate has come into question this week as part of the fallout from his fight with Rajon Rondo.
Days after their fight led to suspensions for both players, Rondo blasted Paul, saying CP3 may have a good reputation in the media but is a “horrible” teammate. At least one Houston Rockets player has Paul’s back.
Gerald Green was asked for his thoughts on Paul ahead of the Rockets’ game against Utah on Wednesday and was nothing but complimentary. Here’s the video (beware – there are a few bad words).
Gerald Green, now an 11-year veteran with 8 NBA stops, on @CP3 as a teammate:
“Chris [Paul] is an awesome teammate. I’ve had a lot of bad teammates before, because I had bounced around, and Chris is probably one of my best teammates that I’ve ever had on a team.” #Rockets pic.twitter.com/3Xcx4TvhDt
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) October 24, 2018
“Chris is an awesome teammate,” Green said of Paul. “He’s an awesome teammate. As soon as I got here, he’s one of the first guys to welcome me in. … I’ve had a lot of bad teammates before. Chris is probably one of my best teammates I’ve had on a team.”
Green says that Paul would call him after games and that he’ll have CP3’s back on and off the court.
Though Rondo’s comments about Paul being a bad teammate have received attention, they’ve been smacked down somewhat. Rockets GM Daryl Morey even pointed out the irony in Rondo’s comments with a hilarious tweet.
Glen Big Baby Davis played with both Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul during his NBA career, which makes him somewhat qualified to speak on them as teammates. And Davis has a strong opinion about which one is the better teammate.
Davis said on Instagram that Chris Paul is a “very bad teammate.”
Big Baby chimes in pic.twitter.com/v1UG8ZBcp1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 23, 2018
The debate arose after Rondo and Paul got into a fight during Saturday night’s Rockets-Lakers game. Rondo was accused of spitting on CP3, which led to the two trading punches. Both received suspensions for their roles in the fight.
In the aftermath, Rondo defended himself and said Paul was a bad teammate. Davis agrees.
Davis, who played nine seasons in the NBA, spent his first four seasons with Rondo on the Boston Celtics. They were extremely successful at the time, winning a championship in Davis’ rookie season. By comparison, Davis spent the final two seasons of his career with the Clippers and was not very good at the time, so it’s no surprise he did not have a positive impression of playing with CP3 on the Clippers.
Ben DuBose put it in perspective.
On the Glen Davis IG comment regarding Rondo and CP3: Big Baby played two out-of-shape years with LAC at the end of his career, 13 mpg or less, in a role basically mandated by Doc Rivers and one that didn't work to the benefit of the team. I wouldn't use him as a barometer.
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) October 23, 2018
Davis was even feuding with Doc Rivers by that point, so you can take his opinion lightly. Still, his comments add to the drama surrounding the CP3/Rondo feud.
The NBA has decided on the punishments for the players involved in Saturday night’s fight between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.
Brandon Ingram will be suspended four games, Rajon Rondo three, and Chris Paul two games for their roles in the fight.
The fight occurred in the fourth quarter after James Harden rammed into Ingram, leading Ingram to respond with a shove. Rondo and Paul then got into it, with CP3 thinking Rondo spit on him, leading him to put his hand in Rondo’s face. Rondo responded by throwing punches. Paul threw a few. Then Ingram came in out of nowhere and threw a punch as well.
Ingram & Harden get into and then Rondo & Paul and punches fly pic.twitter.com/A8SLQUmqsz
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) October 21, 2018
NBA official Kiki VanDeWeghe was in attendance for the game and witnessed the incident. He is the one who handles league discipline for such matters.
The suspension lengths send a message that the league feels Rondo instigated, but Paul still deserved discipline for engaging and throwing punches. Ingram is being hit the hardest because his involvement in the fight was so out of place and his actions were the most aggressive and unnecessary.