Rockets point guard Chris Paul has been ruled out for Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday with a hamstring strain. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni confirmed the news to reporters 90 minutes before tipoff.
Mike D'Antoni on CP3: "He couldn't explode off it, couldn't push on it. It just wasn't ready. We knew it was a long shot."— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) May 28, 2018
Paul, who injured his leg in the fourth quarter of Houston's Game 5 win on Thursday, was a game-time decision on Monday, but the Rockets reportedly concluded that he just couldn't play through the injury. This leaves the superstar benched and Houston without one of its most important players.
Paul came up huge in Game 5, scoring 20 points in 38 minutes to help pace the Rockets to a crucial win.
The Rockets definitely missed Paul in their Game 6 loss to the Warriors. Harden had to rest during a run by Golden State in the fourth quarter and Houston clearly lacked someone that could dominate the ball and score points. The Rockets also had 21 turnovers compared to Golden State's 10. One of Houston's few point guards, Paul sitting out with injury leading to an uptick in turnovers is probably not a coincidence.
The Rockets will need to try and figure out a way to survive without Paul. It's a bummer that he won't get to play in the biggest game of his career, with a spot in the NBA Finals on the line, but that's the unfortunate situation. He's done everything he can to get Houston to this point. It's up to the rest of the Rockets to finish the job.