The status of Rockets point guard Chris Paul for Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals is an unknown in the aftermath of Houston’s 115-86 loss in Game 6 on Saturday.
“I’m not thinking about it. I don’t know, I wasn’t pre-med,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters.
Paul is scheduled to have his strained right hamstring re-evaluated when the team returns to Houston, where Game 7 will be held Monday night. Paul is “less likely than likely [to play], but working every angle to try,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, citing a source.
D’Antoni said prior to Game 6 that Paul is receiving treatment “around the clock.”
“I think he’ll play as soon as he can,” D’Antoni said pregame. “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.”
Paul left in the final 30 seconds of the Rockets’ 98-94 victory in Houston in Game 5 on Thursday night and received treatment on the hamstring after the game. He was said to be in good spirits at the team’s shootaround on Friday, though D’Antoni revealed how tough the injury has been on him.
“He’s devastated. He has to be. We’re all devastated for him. At the same time, we’ll rally and do what’s right,” D’Antoni said. “He’s so integral in what we do and the spirit of the team. And him being here is a big deal, and him being on the bench is a big deal. He’ll will us through, if he can.”
Even Warriors coach Steve Kerr shared his disappointment about what happened.
“More than anything, I feel bad for Chris. The guy is a phenomenal player and competitor, and pretty much willed his team the last two games. He’s just been haunted by these types of injuries in his career, and it’s a shame,” Kerr said.
Paul, a nine-time All-Star, has never been to an NBA Finals in his 13 seasons. The 33-year-old is averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists during the playoffs.
–Field Level Media
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