The Houston Rockets have gotten off to a fast start this season, sprinting out to an 8-3 record that has them sitting atop the Western Conference standings. It’s been even more impressive that they’ve done it without their top offseason acquisition.
Chris Paul has only played one game so far this season due to a knee injury, and up until now, it’s been pretty unclear when the star point guard will return. But according to head coach Mike D’Antoni, we should be seeing Paul back on the court “sooner rather than later,” as he told the Houston Chronicle.
“I just think it is sooner than later. I don’t know how soon that is. For me, it will never be soon enough. I guess we can use the baseball analogy; he’s probably rounding second and pretty close to third so we’re getting there.”
Last week, D’Antoni said Paul was about two weeks away, whether or not that exact timetable is still accurate isn’t totally clear, but Paul has been putting in the work to get back on the court. D’Antoni recently told USA Today:
“Now he's getting back on the floor, where he's now shooting foul shots, shooting a little bit. He's been working his butt off. He's been boxing all the time, and doing stuff with water, running in the water...and treading water and all that. He's going to be in shape, and he's trying to take his anxiety and frustration out on working out. But it's normal stuff...It's only unique because he just got here, and we have all this going on.”
Paul’s teammates are just as eager as his coach to get him back on the court. James Harden has been itching to get his summer running mate back into the groove, and Paul’s other offseason teammate, Trevor Ariza, is ready for CP3’s return as well, telling the Chron:
“We’re just going to keep on improving. It’s going to be a bit of an adjustment, because he has been out. But I don’t think it will take too long for him to find a rhythm because he’s always in tune to what we’re doing. Getting him back is going to be exciting. We can’t wait. I know he’s ready to get back on the court, as well.”
So with Paul hard at work, his teammates anxiously awaiting his return, and his head coach proclaiming that his return is imminent, this already exciting Rockets season is about to get one future Hall of Fame point guard more interesting.