Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni provided an update on injured point guard Chris Paul, who has missed all but one game this season due to a bruised left knee. At this stage, D’Antoni feels his prized offseason addition is closer than he has been to a return (via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon).
“He’s probably rounding second and pretty close to third,” D’Antoni said of Paul’s estimated return. Once Paul is cleared for basketball activities, D’Antoni said that Paul needs “five days or so” of practice to get his endurance up to par. The Rockets have been fine without Paul, boasting an 8-3 record, tied for first with the defending champion Warriors.
“I just hope we can get him back quickly so we can start building on what we really have,” the Rockets coach added.
Paul averaged 18.1 PPG and 9.2 APG in 61 games for the Clippers last season. The nine-time All-Star joined Houston in an offseason trade, creating a dynamic one-two punch with last year’s Most Valuable Player runner-up, James Harden.
Check out other news in the Southwest Division:
- While the Spurs have a respectable 6-4 record without Kawhi Leonard, veteran Manu Ginobili feels that Leonard’s absence has been good in terms of giving young players more playing time, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “Every time a team has to adjust to playing without its main player, others have to step up and gain confidence, and they end up being better players,” Ginobili said.
- Tyreke Evans‘ resurgence has put him in the Sixth Man of the Year discussions through the first portion of the season. Once Ben McLemore and JaMychal Green return from injury, the Grizzlies are going to have a tough decision on their hands when it comes to balancing playing time, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes.
- Christian Boutwell of The Advocate writes that the Pelicans‘ influx of veterans and their productiveness and leadership has been beneficial to the team so far.