Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets: Chris Paul could miss Game 7

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson during the second half of Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Ben Margot AP
Jeannette Daniel | 29 May, 2018, 09:22

Steve Kerr knows the Houston Rockets are a much lesser opponent when Chris Paul can not be on the floor, but the Golden State Warriors coach would rather see the star point guard suit up in the Western Conference Finals.

Paul has been sidelined since straining the hamstring in the final minute of Houston's Game 5 win over the Golden State Warriors. In the second half, the Warriors outscored the Rockets 66-25 on their to a 115-86 blowout win in game six. The guard had to sit out Game 6 after suffering a bad a hamstring injury during the final minute of Game 5 against the Rockets. The Rockets had a ten point lead going into halftime. They had been top-10 in the National Basketball Association in possessions per game for five years before this season, when adding Paul allowed them to tighten their halfcourt sets. Also, Harden rediscovered his own touch from that distance; he'd missed 22 straight threes in this series but made four and scored 32 points. Thompson stayed in rhythm most of the night while Curry (29 points) and Durant (23) went through off-and-on cold stretches and afterward joked how he was "born" for this. I'm sure Harden will step up and probably have his biggest scoring night of the series, but unless the Warriors hand them a bunch of turnovers to gift them some free points, I don't see the Rockets having enough to get the win here. It will be a summer of what-could-have-been for the Rockets, who couldn't finish off the Warriors without Paul after putting them on the ropes.

He's been the catalyst for the Rockets through the Western Conference finals. The Rockets missed all 14 3-point attempts in that quarter as part of a 1-for-21 second half from long range. However, their decisive victory in Game 6 served to reinforce the reality of what happens when they are at their best, especially with the Rockets short-handed missing such a significant piece.

Warriors guard Patrick McCaw, who returned on Saturday from a two-month absence caused by a lower-back injury, is listed as probable for Game 7. They've responded to adversity at every turn in this series, and there's no reason to think they can't do so again in Game 7.


It is probable that Paul wouldn't be 100 percent in time for the finals even if he rested for Game 7.

The Rockets will need to try and figure out a way to survive without Paul.

After the game, Curry told reporters coach Steve Kerr had some advice after his rocky start.

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