Chris Paul‘s chances of playing in Game 7 are “less likely than likely,” a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, but the Rockets remain hopeful that his injured right hamstring will heal enough for him to take the court Monday (Twitter link). The team is “working every angle to try,” Woj adds.
Houston obviously missed its star point guard during a second-half collapse Saturday that resulted in a 29-point loss in Game 6. Paul offered advice and moral support on the sidelines, but his absence left a shortened rotation that was outscored 64-25 after halftime.
“I don’t know. I have no idea,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game in a video clip tweeted by Mark Berman of Fox 26. “I was in pre-med. Just to let you know, and I’m pretty good. … The doctors, they’ll tell me.” Asked about having Paul on the bench, D’Antoni responded, “I hate it. … He needs to be on the floor. … He’s great. He’s a winner.”
Paul, who suffered the injury on a shot in the final minute of Game 5, continues to receive around-the-clock treatment, writes Janie McCauley of The Associated Press. The Rockets’ training staff wanted Paul to skip the flight to Oakland for Game 6, tweets Tim Cato of SB Nation, but D’Antoni said the plan was always to have him accompany his teammates.
“All our doctors are with us,” D’Antoni told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “He can get the same type of treatment. Plus, he doesn’t want to miss this. He’s worked his whole career to be here. He’s very responsible for us getting here, so he needs to be here. Treatments will be the same as if he was there, here, doesn’t matter. It will take a few days, and he’ll just have to do what he has to do.”
Paul has been brilliant for the Rockets in the playoffs in his first season in Houston, posting a 21.1/5.9/5.8 line through 17 games. He is in the final year of the contract he signed with the Clippers, and reaching a new deal will be among the Rockets’ priorities this offseason.