Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Rotation options with Chris Paul out for a few weeks

By Michael Knight
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 20: Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 20: Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets will be without their star point guard for a couple of weeks after yet another hamstring injury, unfortunately. How will the rotation change with his absence?

Chris Paul has injured his hamstring yet again. The Houston Rockets star, who signed a 4-year, $160 million deal during free agency last summer, will miss some time for the team.

This reoccurring injury in both of his hammies, which caused him to miss the last two games of the Western Conference Finals last season, is back for more. Thankfully, it could be a lot worse, though the timing is not great.

Rockets announce that it is a Grade 2 hamstring strain for Chris Paul. He will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks. https://t.co/pxrE5YGDUV

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 21, 2018

The Rockets are heading into a tough stretch of games in the two (or more) weeks that Chris Paul will miss. If he’s set to be re-evaluated on January 4, he will miss games…

Vs. San Antonio

Vs. Oklahoma City

Vs. Boston

@ New Orleans

Vs. Memphis

@ Golden State

That’s no easy stretch with no games in there that will be easy wins for the Rockets. They will need to toughen up and find a way to survive with CP3 gone. At least there are more home games than road ones, so let’s hope the fans show up and get loud.

With Chris Paul out of the lineup, though, who will start? Who will play heavy minutes? Let’s discuss a couple of options:

Back to a small forward: House or Green starts

Recently, the Rockets have found success by starting Eric Gordon, a guard, at the small forward position. With EG likely/possibly going back to his natural position of shooting guard now that CP3 is hurt, the Rockets might go to Danuel House or Gerald Green to start at that spot until James Ennis is back and healthy.

Both of these guys bring energy and athleticism to the floor and have been solid off the bench for the Rockets during their recent winning streak. Would they be able to produce similar results in a starting role? I would start Danuel House because his defense in the starting lineup could be nice to have with CP3 gone. Last night, though, it was Green that started the second half.

Stay small with Knight

Another option for the Rockets could be to stay with their small starting lineup and start another guard. Brandon Knight is making his way back from energy and could find himself thrown right into the fire pretty soon.

Knight has been rusty so far, and understandably so. It’s been around a year and a half since he played in the NBA and he needs to work out his difficulties. Starting and having that responsibility might help him shake off the rust.

Next. Brandon Knight trade offers not gaining traction

We’ll have to see tomorrow what the Rockets do for their starting lineup. What we do know, however, is that most of the rotation will be playing some pretty heavy minutes. I expect James Harden to average near 40 minutes a game during the stretch, and the usual bench guys could see over 30. It’ll be tough to replicate what Chris Paul brings to the team, obviously.

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