More Rumors in this Storyline
Tim MacMahon: Mike D’Antoni confirms that Chris Paul will return tonight against the Magic after missing 17 games due to a strained left hamstring. Paul will start, and Austin Rivers will come off the Houston bench.
Tim MacMahon: “Hallelujah,” Mike D’Antoni said of the Rockets going 12-5 without Chris Paul. “Back then, I was thinking, let’s just survive and get everybody back and make a run for it.”
Mark Berman: Mike D’Antoni says Chris Paul will be listed as questionable for tomorrow night. No longer certain he’ll play against the Magic: “I thought I was sure yesterday but not 100% today.” #Rockets pic.twitter.com/gMaqAssdMz
Tim MacMahon: A source says there is an “almost 100 [percent]” chance that Chris Paul returns Sunday against the Magic. The Rockets managed to go 12-5 in the five weeks that Paul missed with a strained left hamstring.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets guard Chris Paul out tonight vs. Raptors, D’Antoni said, but likely to return on Sunday.
Kelly Iko: Source: All signs pointing to Chris Paul (left hamstring) making his return Sunday vs. Orlando, or Tuesday vs. New Orleans.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets guard Chris Paul remains listed as out for Monday’s game in Philadelphia. Brandon Knight upgraded to questionable.
David Hardisty: Chris Paul on his rehab: “I’m doing well. Progressing, trying to get back on the court as soon as possible, continue to listen to my body. As soon as I’m able, I will be out there.” Does he have any idea when he will return? “Nope.”
Coach Mike D’Antoni said over the weekend that he anticipates Gordon (right knee contusion) returning at some point this week and Paul (strained left hamstring) likely rejoining the lineup next week.
Stefano Fusaro: #Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says it will still be around 2-3 weeks until Chris Paul returns to the team from his hamstring injury. He added that they will be very careful about bringing him back too early.
Mark Berman: Chris Paul meets with the media for the first time since suffering a left hamstring injury Dec20: “I’m better than I was in Miami..Mentally I’m getting better.” (Asked if he has an idea when he’ll return?) “No clue..I’m trying to make sure I’m all the way healed when I come back”
Adam Wexler: #Rockets announce that Chris Paul has been diagnosed with a Grade-2 left hamstring strain. He’ll be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks. @KPRC2
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets got reading on Chris Paul’s MRI, but not 100 percent certain on grade until more evaluation. Expected to be Grade 2 strain, source said. Looking at 2 to 4 weeks, depending on rehab, etc.
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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.
Tim Reynolds: The word on Chris Paul: “It’ll be some time,” Mike D’Antoni said. MRI tomorrow on the left hamstring.
Tim MacMahon: Rockets guard Chris Paul has a strained left hamstring and will not return against the Heat.
Tim MacMahon: According to info tracked by @Bobby Marks, Chris Paul has twice missed time due to a hamstring injury over last decade. He missed three games in March of last season and last two games of West finals (and would likely have missed most, if not all, of Finals if Rockets advanced).
Tim MacMahon: Chris Paul’s minutes have increased significantly to 34 per game this season, his most since 2014-15. Last time a point guard age 33 or older average that many minutes was 2009-10 (Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd).
David Hardisty: Rockets assistant Matt Brase said at halftime that the Chris Paul injury creates more opportunity for other guys. “We’ll probably see more B-Knight or MCW or something like that coming in to get some extra minutes.”
Anthony Chiang: Chris Paul in Rockets locker room. He was grabbing his hamstring.
Paul Garcia: Coach D’Antoni said Chris Paul will play tonight.
Jonathan Feigen: Expect Chris Paul to return tonight, Nene tomorrow for Rockets. D’Antoni availability in about 25 minutes to be sure.
Jonathan Feigen: Chris Paul and Gerald Green both out for Rockets vs. Wizards tonight.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets guards Chris Paul (sore left leg) and Gerald Green (sore right ankle) are questionable to play Monday against the Wizards.
Kelly Iko: Chris Paul says it sounds cliche, but his hamstring injury made him stronger. pic.twitter.com/qG8UeNguDK
“It sucks because you know you could win this series if we just had one more playmaker,” Gordon said after the Rockets’ 101-92 loss Monday night in Game 7. “If we had Chris, if he was out there, we’d have been playing on Thursday. It’s just tough.”
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni bemoaned Paul’s absence when asked about the Warriors’ dominance in the third quarters. “That’s what C.P. was so good at in two [of the] games we won,” D’Antoni said. “They’d make a little run, he’d hit a 3. They make another run, and he makes another play. And you have to have those momentum changers and stoppers, and the last two games, we didn’t have them.”
Manu Ginobili: Feel bad that a player like CP couldn’t be part of game 6 and 7. Awesome competitor and difference maker for HOU. Same for Iguodala but he’s been there many times…
Ramona Shelburne: Chris Paul’s hamstring injury is a Grade 2 strain, per multiple sources. For reference that’s the same injury that cost James Harden almost three weeks back in January. As one source put it, “We tried everything. It’s just not humanly possible.”
Melissa Rohlin: Steve Kerr on the Rockets being without Chris Paul “He’s one of the best players in the league…It’s a huge loss for them. That doesn’t mean they’re not capable.”
Anthony Slater: Chris Paul will not play in Game 7, Mike D’Antoni says.
Jenny Dial Creech: ‘I think he’s out.’ Mike D’Antoni on Chris Paul. #Rockets
Connor Letourneau: Chris Paul is out tonight for Game 7. “Everybody came to the same conclusion,” D’Antoni said. “There’s just no way.”
Melissa Rohlin: D’Antoni on Chris Paul: “He couldn’t explode, he couldn’t push off of it. Not ready. I knew it was a long shot when it happened.”
David Aldridge: D’Antoni, on conference call: “I don’t think he’s tested it at all. He’s just getting treatment and making sure it calms down and everything.” Says treatment is just about 24/7.
Jonathan Feigen: D’Antoni on CP3’s rehab: “I think it’s going good. He looks questionable. I’m sure the team doctors will check him out tomorrow. We might not know until afternoon. We’ll play it by ear.”
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.”
Tim Bontemps: Mike D’Antoni says Chris Paul will play “as soon as he’s able to.” Doesn’t sound overly optimistic about him being available for Game 7.
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.
Marc J. Spears: Injured Rockets guard Chris Paul just left the locker room in the team warmups and headed to the bench during intros.
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.”
Melissa Rohlin: D’Antoni on Chris Paul: “He’s devastated.”
Logan Murdock: Chris Paul just walked in without a noticeable limp.
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: Eric Gordon on Chris Paul out: “It’s definitely tough to recover..but we’re going to be ready to play.” Says starting doesn’t change his approach. “I’m going to continue to attack and take what the defense gives me.” #Rockets
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.
Kelly Iko: Chris Paul walking rather gingerly but in good spirits #Rockets
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
Chris Mannix: Chris Paul out for Game 6, per Rockets
Alykhan Bijani: Texted a #Rockets source about the chances Chris Paul (hamstring) can play tomorrow in Game 6? The response: “Not great”. The team practices at 11:30. We should get an official word shortly.
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.”
Mark Berman: Klay Thompson of if Chris Paul can’t go: “It definitely changes things. He made some huge shots tonight, really tough ones, that were kind of deflating times.” pic.twitter.com/QHNAUgAXTR
ESPN Stats: Can the Rockets survive if Chris Paul misses time? Houston has a positive points differential this series when Harden is on the court and Paul is off the court.
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.”
Logan Murdock: Chris Paul on his health: “I’m okay. I’m trying to get treatment and all that and get ready for tomorrow. We’re trying to what we can do to make adjustments to win Game 4.”
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.
Jonathan Feigen: Chris Paul (sore left leg) again listed as questionable for the Rockets vs. Wizards on Tuesday. Nene (lower back pain) upgraded to questionable.
Tim MacMahon: Rockets guard Chris Paul (leg) won’t play against the Spurs. “We’re erring on the side of caution,” coach Mike D’Antoni said, adding that Paul could return Tuesday.
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March 24, 2019 | 11:05 am EDT Update
Adam Wexler: #Rockets recall Gary Clark from @RGVVipers. He was (+26) in their west clinching win last night. They’re top seed in West for playoffs which begin this week. Rockets at Pelicans, tonight at 6.
Murray State star Ja Morant will wait to make an announcement on whether he plans to enter the NBA draft after his team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament Saturday. “That time will come,” Morant said. “My focus is not on that right now. It’s just celebrating this — what a great season we had — with my teammates.” Morant is widely projected to be a top-three pick in this year’s draft, should he choose to forgo his final two years of college eligibility.
According to multiple sources, some high profile international candidates are being or have been considered. David Blatt, an American who coached the Russian national team as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers, was first choice but may have pulled out due to back problems. Former Italian national team head coach and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is also being interviewed. A complicating factor? Financial challenges at Canada Basketball mean that the money being offered for the role is minimal or perhaps not even more than an honorarium covering expenses.
Meanwhile, a number of Canadian coaches are not impressed that Triano has been put in a situation where he has to effectively re-apply for his own job. “I know he was under the impression last summer that he was the head coach and hadn’t heard anything differently until recently,” said one source. “The way this has played out is disrespectful. He’s either your coach or he’s not.”
March 24, 2019 | 7:25 am EDT Update
Players, coaches and management all have insisted on how important center Robin Lopez has been to the rebuild, so much so that the Bulls didn’t want to buy him out the last month for the stretch run. With Lopez facing free agency this summer, and staring at a backup role with the Bulls if he does return, what are the chances that the mutual admiration brings him back? “Robin has been terrific for us,’’ Paxson said. “We’ll keep an open mind on that, absolutely.’’