Wednesday 13th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Houston Rockets Still Not Sure Whether Chris Paul Will Return for Thursday’s Game Against Suns

Houston Rockets Still Not Sure Whether Chris Paul Will Return for Thursday’s Game Against Suns

Chris Paul

Chris Paul hasn’t played since the Houston Rockets’ opening-night victory over the Golden State Warriors, and though he’s expected to return sometime this week, the team isn’t making any promises.

From the Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen:

With the Rockets hoping to have guard Chris Paul ready to play Thursday in Phoenix, Paul ramped up his workouts on Sunday and is scheduled for intense sessions again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Paul has been out since the Oct. 17 season opener because of a bruised left knee suffered Oct.  11 in Memphis.

After a light day on Monday with the Rockets off following the back-to-back, Paul is expected to go through a more extense workout on Tuesday and the Rockets’ practice on Wednesday. The Rockets would not decide when he will play until Thursday when they can measure how he responds to the practice sessions and the flight to Phoenix.

 The Rockets haven’t “needed” Paul thus far. They’re tied for the second-best record in the NBA and own the second-highest net rating, just behind the Golden State Warriors. They’ve played one of the 10 easiest schedules to date, according to Basketball-Reference, but they have quality wins over squads like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies.
Getting him back in the rotation is the obvious preference. James Harden shouldn’t have to shoulder immense offensive loads forever; it visibly affects his effort and execution on the defensive end. And more than that, the Rockets need to acclimate themselves to one another. They haven’t gotten the opportunity to work through whatever learning curve exists within this Harden-Paul partnership. Maybe there won’t be one. And yet, there probably will be. They need to figure out how they’ll play off one another, and those around them need to learn Paul’s tendencies as a pick-and-roll initiator and decision-maker on drives.
Granted, sitting him out against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday won’t be a huge deal. The Rockets have the rest of this season, and if Paul doesn’t return then, or on Saturday against the Grizzlies, it sure seems like he’s on track to return sometime next week.

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