Storyline: Chris Paul Injury

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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.”

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.'”

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.”
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March 24, 2019 | 11:05 am EDT Update
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.
1 hour ago via ESPN
Storyline: Ja Morant Going Pro?
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

Bulls keeping Robin Lopez?

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.’’
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