The Houston Rockets had their five-game winning streak broken last night against the Miami Heat, but that wasn’t the only bad news they received. Chris Paul exited the game with about six minutes left in the first half and never returned to the game.
He’s scheduled for an MRI today to reveal the extent of the damage to his left hamstring. It was his right that knocked him out of last year’s Western Conference Finals series against the Golden State Warriors and also forced him to miss time earlier this season. However, head coach Mike D’Antoni has already revealed that he expects Paul to miss extended time.
Obviously won't be a timetable on Paul's return before his MRI, maybe not after. D'Antoni: “It’s going to be some time just because it’s a hamstring.”— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 21, 2018
The Rockets were up 8 points when Paul went down, and they ended up losing by 2, and that falls right in the line with what we’ve come to expect when Paul sits. The Rockets are 0-5 without CP3 in the lineup this season. Despite having a down year, there’s no doubting Houston has been a better team with Paul on the floor.
The Rockets will have to lean on James Harden even more than they are currently, which could mean scary things for The Beard’s already league-leading 37.2 percent usage rate. Harden has been fantastic lately, putting up ridiculous MVP-type numbers, but how long can he keep up with this kind of workload?
Gerald Green and Danuel House will also be asked to contribute more, with Green likely earning the start alongside Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, and Clint Capela, at least until James Ennis returns from injury, and we might see some more Gary Clark as well. The Rockets have struggled with depth all season, and this latest injury is just more of the same in this uneven year.
We’ll have an update for you when CP3’s MRI comes back.
The team is optimistic Paul will be back in 2-3 weeks, according to Woj.
There's optimism that Chris Paul's left hamstring injury will cost him only two-to-three weeks out of the Rockets lineup, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 21, 2018