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.
- Chris Paul
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
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.
The NBA is in the process of determining what the appropriate punishment should be for those involved in the fight between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets on Saturday, and some video evidence that has emerged is not going to help Rajon Rondo.
After Rondo got into a confrontation with Chris Paul, CP3 claimed what sparked the whole thing was Rondo spitting in his face. While the live broadcast did not appear to show that, a slow motion replay that the Rockets have sent to the NBA league offices indicates Paul was telling the truth.
This is one of the pieces of video the Rockets are sending the league office as the NBA investigates last night's fight at Staples Center and determines discipline. pic.twitter.com/YKw7JF13cP
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018
The Lakers reportedly took Rondo’s side, claiming that it would be almost impossible for him to spit on an opponent since he wears a mouthguard. Based on what that close-up shows, it looks like he figured it out.
If Rondo is suspended for his role in the incident, it would not be the first time he was suspended by the NBA. He was banned earlier in his career for hurling an inappropriate slur at an official, and the league could take that into consideration when determining his punishment for Saturday night’s feud.
The beef between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul apparently got even more personal after their actual physical altercation on Saturday night.
The two veteran point guards traded a number of punches during the Houston Rockets’ 124-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center following a fourth-quarter incident where Rondo allegedly spit at Paul. The incident led to both players (along with Brandon Ingram, who also threw punches) being ejected. Suspensions may possibly be incoming as well.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that a member of Rondo’s family also confronted Paul’s wife, Jada, in the wake of the brawl.
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Along with Chris Paul/Rajon Rondo altercation in Lakers-Rockets, one of Rondo’s family members confronted Paul’s wife, Jada. NBA investigating tonight’s on-court altercations ahead of Rockets/Clippers on Sunday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2018
This was corroborated by the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, who noted that the Rondo family member made “inappropriate” comments to Paul’s wife.
Chris Paul was still so angry after the game, multiple individuals said, because a member of Rajon Rondo's family made "inappropriate" comments to Paul's wife, Jada, in the stands after the altercation.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 21, 2018
The two guards are certainly no strangers to altercations with other players, but Saturday night’s incident was a whole new level of ugly, especially since it escalated to the point of their families getting involved too.