The Houston Rockets’ big win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday was tempered somewhat by the late injury that star guard Chris Paul suffered, but it sounds like they already have a plan in place in case he misses time.
Paul was injured in the final 30 seconds of the Rockets’ 98-94 victory in Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals series when he appeared to hurt his right hamstring on a floater attempt and was unable to finish the game.
Speaking with reporters afterwards, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni did not sound particularly optimistic about Paul’s status and said that the nine-time All-Star was not in good spirits, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.
Rockets' Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul: "We'll see. He'll be evaluated tomorrow. They'll do whatever they can do. If he's there [for Game 6], great, good for him… His spirits aren't great. He wanted to be out there. That's normal."
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 25, 2018
D’Antoni also said that Rockets guard Eric Gordon would shift into the role of playmaker in the event that Paul missed time, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Eric Gordon will move to the role of playmaker if Chris Paul doesn’t return from a hamstring injury in Game 6.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 25, 2018
Gordon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, scored 24 points in the win on Thursday and is now up to 18.2 points a game for the series. He has come off the bench in every single game however, and the Rockets don’t usually use him as much of an initiator. Still, Gordon used to average four-plus assists a game for the LA Clippers back in the day, so he at least has it in his arsenal.