Just as the Houston Rockets hit .500 and started making their climb up the Western Conference standings, disaster strikes. Chris Paul injured his hamstring during the Rockets’ loss in Miami on Thursday, and will have an MRI on Friday. Mike D’Antoni’s instant prognosis is that CP3 will be out for “some time.”
The Rockets have struggled with CP3 out of the lineup and can’t afford to struggle right now. Houston has lost the last nine games it has played without CP3, going back to last April. That includes Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Finals, when the Rockets were one win away from the NBA Finals and, probably, a path to the championship.
However, the Rockets did have success early last season with CP3 out for an extended stretch: Paul missed 14 games in October and November 2017, and Houston went 10-4 on their way to the No. 1 seed. The Rockets overall don’t look as good this year as they were last season, but that precedent is important. Through James Harden, all things are possible.
The bigger concern than the next month or so is the next four years. CP3 is half of a season into a $160 million contract. Every little injury has the chance to slam the Rockets’ championship window shut. Here’s to hoping for a full recovery, no matter how fast it is.
Rockets 99, Heat 101
Mavericks 121, Clippers 125
All times Eastern. Games are on League Pass unless otherwise indicated.
Selections from Friday:
Bucks at Celtics, 8, ESPN
Jazz at Blazers, 10
Grizzlies at Kings, 10
Pelicans at Lakers, 10:30, ESPN
Selections from Saturday:
Nuggets at Clippers, 5
Raptors at Sixers, 7:30, NBA TV
Spurs at Rockets, 8
Mavericks at Warriors, 8:30
Thunder at Jazz, 9
Selections from Sunday:
Wizards at Pacers, 5
Hornets at Celtics, 6
Pelicans at Kings, 6
Timberwolves at Thunder, 8
Clippers at Warriors, 8:30
Grizzlies at Lakers, 9:30
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