Related Tags: Chris Paul
The GM of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, announced on Friday that Paul has had an MRI scan on his left hamstring and it revealed a grade 2 strain. Morey said Paul will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
The Rockets have had a rocky season thus far, which has been attributed to various different factors and situations which just haven’t gone their way, such as: the poor play of Carmelo Anthony, injuries to both Paul and Harden, the loss of key perimeter defenders Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza, and the decline in efficiency from Eric Gordon.
Before this injury against the Heat, the Rockets were just starting to get some momentum going by stringing five consecutive wins together, and they had just managed to climb up the crowded western conference into the playoff places.
The loss of Chris Paul could spell disaster for them in the short and long term. It is a scrap to get into the playoffs in the western conference this year and the Rockets need all their best players to perform well to get there. So far this season they have played five games without CP3 and they have lost all of them. I’m sure the Rockets will be able to win at least a single game in the next two weeks while Paul is out but those games will be a lot more difficult and the burden of the offense will fall even more heavily onto the shoulders of James Harden and somewhat Eric Gordon.
Harden is a brilliant player who is capable of winning against almost any team just on his own determination, but this has a price. We’ve seen Harden show fatigue in the post season after shouldering the burden of an entire team’s offense. In the 2016-17 playoffs Harden looked absolutely exhausted and completely devoid of creativity in the Rockets’ second round matchup versus the San Antonio Spurs.
Chris Paul is a bit injury prone and if these injuries continue to happen, not only will it be bad for Harden’s energy levels, it could also put the Rockets in a bad position financially for years to come. CP3 has now injured both his hamstrings within 6 months of each other, and although he hasn’t been out long with each one, as he gets older the recovery time will increase more and more. The Rockets already have cap space problems caused by Chris Paul’s massive wage of $35.6 million this season. This is part of a huge 4 year deal, the 4th of which will take him past his 37th birthday in which he will be earning $44.2 million. This contract has the potential to go down as one of the worst in the league for a few years to come, along the same lines as contracts such as Chandler Parsons, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carmelo Anthony.
We’ll see how this one plans out but there are more than enough hurdles that the Rockets will have to jump this season to certainly make the western conference an interesting watch, especially in the run up to the playoffs.