Melissa Rohlin: D'Antoni on Chris Paul: "He couldn't ex…

More on Chris Paul Injury

Jonathan Feigen: D'Antoni said Paul was "questionable" the first time he was asked, said "doubtful" later. Clearly, the Rockets won't know until Paul gives the hamstring a real test tomorrow.
Rockets star Chris Paul is receiving treatment "around the clock" on his injured right hamstring and coach Mike D'Antoni hopes it will only be a matter of days before he is healthy enough to play again. The timeline remained unclear whether Paul might be fine to play a possible Game 7 if the Rockets lost Saturday night's Game 6 and had to return to Houston to face the Golden State Warriors again Monday night. Eric Gordon started in Paul's place Saturday at Oracle Arena. "I think he'll play as soon as he can," D'Antoni said before the game Saturday. "It's just not a question of trying to outsmart. He's going to play. As soon as he's able to walk and run, he'll do it. There was no shot at it today."
Ramona Shelburne: Chris Paul is not playing in this game, but he is dressed. Mike D'Antoni joked with @ESPNRadio there needs to keep a buffer between him and CP so he doesn't get tempted to send him in.
Tim Bontemps: Mike D’Antoni confirms Eric Gordon will start for Chris Paul.
Anthony Slater: Kerr on the Paul injury: "More than anything, I feel bad for Chris. He's been haunted by these injuries throughout his career. It's a shame."
Jonathan Feigen: James Harden said he hung around with teammate Chris Paul until 2:30, "just talking and chopping it up, laughing and talking about life. "We're not here to be down and moping around and sad. We'll be good."
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul out: "I hate it for him above all. He's practically won us the last two games." Says Eric Gordon will start. #Rockets
Connor Letourneau: As expected, Eric Gordon will start Game 6 for the Rockets. Chris Paul's status still in flux for a potential Game 7.

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Marc J. Spears: The Rockets say guard Chris Paul will miss Saturday’s game at Golden State with a right hamstring strain that occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Warriors. He will be re-evaluated after the team returns to Houston.
Marc Stein: The Rockets are naturally going to make these announcements one game at a time, because that’s the right thing to do strategically, but the pessimism emanating from Houston about Paul’s ability to bounce back for a potential Game 7 is unmistakable

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Marc J. Spears: Just saw injured Rockets guard Chris Paul jump into a Maybach outside the Toyota Center and he said: “I will be all right.” I next asked about Game 6, Paul said: “Oh yeah,” before being whisked away.
Like the rest of the basketball world, the elder Paul had seen this cruel scenario play out too many times before. For the second straight game, Chris Paul had been brilliant in the second half of a taut game against the defending champs and helped Houston pull off a gutty victory. But as has happened throughout his career, an ill-timed injury could cost him and his team dearly. "To get here and have this," Charles Paul said, shaking his head. "It comes with the job. You never know what's going to happen. "Chris doesn't feel sorry for himself. He's like, 'OK, this is what happened. We got to make the best of it.' He'll talk to the players on the team and say, 'Hey, I'm still going to be there, even if I don't play.'"
The Rockets said Paul would be re-evaluated after he gets an MRI on Friday before his status for Game 6 is determined. A team source told ESPN that his hamstring was still "really sore" late Thursday night and that he'd felt "a twinge" after landing on a jumper in the final minute of the Game 5 win. "We'll see," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Obviously you saw him limp off. And he's a tough guy."

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A source told ESPN that Paul's foot had been bothering him since the fourth quarter of the Rockets' Game 2 win in Houston. However, the Rockets haven't listed Paul on the official injury report during the series, and he had been evasive when asked about his health.
Coach Mike D'Antoni revealed a poorly kept secret after the Houston Rockets' series-tying, come-from-behind 95-92 win over the Golden State Warriors in Tuesday's Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. Chris Paul has been battling soreness in his right foot during the series. "Chris felt better. His foot felt better," D'Antoni said. "I called him after Game 3, and he said, 'Coach, I'm telling you, if I can get my foot right, we'll beat these guys.' Lo and behold, he got his foot right. And just like I said, we're back to even."
"It's about as good as it's going to be right now," Paul said. "But for us, it's not about that. It's about going out there and getting stops and making big plays when we needed to."
Rockets guard Chris Paul returned to practice on Friday and will practice on Saturday in San Francisco with no lingering issues from the soreness he had in his left calf late in Wednesday's Game 2. "His foot was bothering him a little bit," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It shouldn't be a problem. Just normal. Nothing that would sideline him or anything. He's good."
Tim MacMahon: Asked if there is any concern about Chris Paul's leg, which had a wrap on it late in last night's win, a Rockets source texted: "No, he's fine."
Adam Wexler: #Rockets Ariza (rest) is OUT tonight. Paul (leg), Nene (back) are probable. D’Antoni has said since the weekend he expected Paul to play tonight vs Wizards.
Alykhan Bijani: OUT for the #Rockets Eric Gordon (knee) Chris Paul (hip) Nene (back) IN: Luc Mbah a Moute Trevor Ariza Gerald Green to start tonight.
Adam Wexler: #Rockets Capela (Thumb), Harden (Rest) & Mbah a Moute ( Knee) are OUT: Paul (Hamstring) is probable vs. Bulls
Tim MacMahon: Plan is for Chris Paul to rest tonight vs. Pistons. Only way he plays is if insists. Listed as questionable with left hamstring soreness, but this is more precautionary. With 4-game lead and tiebreaker over wounded Warriors, the Rockets can selectively rest core vets down stretch
Rockets guard Chris Paul, who is listed as questionable to play Thursday against the Pistons with a sore left hamstring, played with some soreness on Tuesday and labored after the game-clinching offensive rebound in Portland, but said after the game he was fine and would not need to miss any time. “I’m cool,” Paul said. “I’m good. I’m good. I'll be fine.” Asked if he would miss any time, Paul said, “No, no, no, no. I’m fine.”
Mark Berman: For those who thought Chris Paul might have suffered a leg injury, Mike D'Antoni told the media in Portland Chris says he's fine.
Tim MacMahon: Mike D’Antoni confirmed that Chris Paul will play tomorrow vs. Clippers. CP3 will get a vet’s day off from practice today.
Jonathan Feigen: Paul said he was being too cautious with his sore groin. "I told (D'Antoni) I was tripping. It was my fault they were coming back. All game I wasn't really trusting what I had going on. I was like, 'That's enough." Three straight mid-range jumpers followed.
Paul Garcia: Chris Paul will play tonight against the Spurs per Coach D’Antoni. No minutes restriction. Eric Gordon won’t play tonight.
Josh Robbins: Rockets guard Chris Paul (groin) will not play tonight, Mike D'Antoni said.
Jonathan Feigen: Don't think Chris Paul's groin soreness can be considered serious. D'Antoni said Paul "worked out hard today. We'll try to get him ready for the games coming up."
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets have not ruled out CP3 for tomorrow. Working out now. D'Antoni said if not tomorrow in Washington Sunday vs. Lakers is probable.
Tim MacMahon: The Rockets' losing streak stands at three games. The 14-game winning streak seems like a distant memory. The hope is that Houston will get Chris Paul back at some point this week.
Tim MacMahon: Chris Paul will not play tonight against the Thunder. He got in a pregame workout.
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul is doubtful for the team's Christmas night game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City due to a left adductor strain.
Tim MacMahon: Chris Paul: "I wish I could play tomorrow. God knows I wish I could play tomorrow, but it's a marathon.... It’s tough, and it’s not just about playing against the Clippers. It’s the way that we’ve been building and getting back out there. And I love to hoop more than anything. That’s my happy place. It’s tough, it’s tough.”
Jonathan Feigen: D'Antoni said even with Mbah a Moute out, he's holding Chris Paul to 20 minutes. Said if not, Jason Biles would tackle him. Expect Chris Paul to be held to 20 minutes again Saturday in Memphis. After that, and three days between games, TBD.
After a light day on Monday with the Rockets off following the back-to-back, Paul is expected to go through a more extense workout on Tuesday and the Rockets' practice on Wednesday. The Rockets would not decide when he will play until Thursday when they can measure how he responds to the practice sessions and the flight to Phoenix.
The practice was not much of a test of his readiness to return, still not projected until next week. Friday's practice between games and before a back-to-back was more of a walk-through than a full practice and not as much of a test as his workouts have been. "He got on the court a little bit," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Things are progressing."
Mark Berman: Ryan Anderson on Chris Paul back on the court and shooting before practice. (Paul getting closer to returning): "It's awesome. I'm glad to see him out here. I know he's excited to be out on the court."
Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul's return: "He's probably rounding second and pretty close to third." D'Antoni estimated Paul would need "five days or so" of practice once he's cleared for basketball activities to build up his endurance before returning to game action. "I just hope we can get him back quickly so we can start building on what we really have."
As Paul and D’Antoni see it, the nine-time All-Star will likely return at some point in t he next two weeks. He has made key progress in the past week, having gone from the boxing and water-treadmill routine that helps maintain his wind to the kinds of on-court activities that typically precede a return. “Um, he's probably right,” Paul said about D’Antoni’s recent proclamation that he was approximately two weeks away.
D’Antoni, whose offense was second only to the Warriors last season, has entrusted that end of the floor to assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik since last season. But Paul’s view, on that topic and many more, is being heard. “He's seeing things where we can get better, what we need to do,” D’Antoni said. “A lot of (his feedback) is personnel driven. He knows the league really well, and what works with guys. We talk about plays. We talk about everything. It's more or less, well 'We can definitely do this,' so you file that away. Or 'we can do that,' or 'we need to pick our pace up, and to be able to do that then we can do this...' We just more or less talk.”
Rockets guard Chris Paul said he still did not have a timetable for his return from a bruised knee, though he did not disagree with Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni's guess that Paul could be back roughly Nov. 16, if not a game sooner or later depending on how quickly he progresses once cleared to practice. "Shoot, Coach told me I was going to play tomorrow," Paul said. "I don't know. I'm working, getting there. Very tough (to be patient,) very tough. I can only go as fast as they'll let me."
Paul, who went through shooting drills on Saturday, said he has been swimming or boxing every other day. D'Antoni said there have been no setbacks, but the Rockets are determined to hold out Paul until he is 100 percent. "Every day that goes by we get a little bit closer," D'Antoni said. "It can't be close enough. He's getting there."
Jonathan Feigen: Paul said he's been swimming and boxing. Could not provide timetable. "I'm working, getting there. Coach told me I was going to play tmrw."
"It wasn't responding as quickly as we wanted," D'Antoni said. "I'm thinking he could be back next day, next day and it wasn't that way. Right now, day-to-day, week-to-week, whatever you want to call it. "We're going to hold him out until it's completely well. There really is no timetable on it. We're going to make sure it's 100 percent well. It hard to put a timetable on it. If it is (a month-long absence) it is. We're equipped to win, anyway. Obviously, we want him back as soon as he can, but we're not going to bring him back until he's completely healthy because we don't want him limping or not feeling it later on."
Marc Stein: The Rockets have made it clear that they plan to be cautious with Chris Paul given the lofty goals they have in mind for a long playoff run
Storyline: Chris Paul Injury
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September 24, 2021 | 10:17 am EDT Update

Darius Garland: 'Our expectations are to make the playoffs'

Have you guys talked about the playoffs as a goal for this team going into the new year? What are the expectations for the Cavaliers in that locker room? Darius Garland: In our locker room, our expectations are to make the playoffs. The league is very balanced this year, so it’s going to be tough, but I think we’ve got the guys and the mindset to do it.
Where do you feel you rank among the rest of the NBA point guards right now? Darius Garland: In my opinion, I think I’m up there for sure. I think last year I really solidified myself, and I think this year I have a lot to learn. I’m coming back for more this year, especially having the target on my back of these executives that are saying I’ll be the breakout player of the year. A lot of people are going to be coming at me and trying to see what I can do. I’m just coming in and trying to be aggressive, trying to play the game the right way, and trying to get wins.
What are your long-term goals looking ahead? Darius Garland: Team goals are winning championships and getting as many wins as we can. I want to be an All-Star, be the best I can be, and be one of the best players to ever play this game. That’s always been my goal since I picked up a basketball. I always wanted to be the best version of me. I want to be known around the league. I want to have my kids’ friends talk about remembering Darius Garland. A lot of All-Star appearances would be amazing. Hall of Fame.
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Storyline: Overtime Elite League
September 24, 2021 | 10:00 am EDT Update
Hart’s contract seems built to trade and we have another logjam of capable guards this year. Do you foresee any moves once the season starts to try and swap a guard or two for forward help? — Nicholas S. The Hart contract was a smart move by New Orleans to create maximum flexibility moving forward. They can use his deal as a way to extract assets from a team looking to open up cap space in the future, or they can get rid of his contract themselves to open up additional space. While I expect New Orleans to be active on the trade market, especially if they get off to a slow start, I’d look to the backcourt as an area they’re more likely to address than the forward position.
Either way, I do think there will be quality guards available later in the season. We see it every year at the trade deadline. I think New Orleans would prefer to see Graham exceed expectations and someone like Alexander-Walker, Murphy or Marshall have a breakout season to make the backcourt look better than it does going into the season. Even if that is true, the Pels will need to add a third star to this roster at some point down the road to give Zion and Ingram a real shot at competing in the West. The most realistic path for that is acquiring one of the next disgruntled guards to hit the trade market. Maybe it’ll happen as early as this season. You never know when the next upset superstar will pop up out of nowhere.