With how the Houston Rockets are playing right now, it is in their best interest to make sure their star point guard is 100% healthy before he steps back out on the court.
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of their best stretch of the season. They just finished an 11-4 December that included them going undefeated at home, a perfect 9-0 record in the Toyota Center.
On December 20, the Rockets lost Chris Paul to another hamstring injury in the first half of the game against the Heat. Things looked pretty bleak after that, as the team was hovering around .500 as is and was a terrible 0-5 without CP3 this year. It was looking like the Rockets needed to rush him back onto the court so the team could even stay in playoff contention.
Things have changed, thankfully. The brilliance of James Harden has quite a bit to do with that. Since Chris Paul went down, the Beard has averaged 41.8 points and 8.4 assists per game and has thrown himself back into the MVP conversation. Instead of not being able to win without CP3, the Rockets are 5-0 in their last five without him.
Other reasons for the turnaround
A bit of depth, along with a key signing, has to do with the turnaround as well. Danuel House is proving to be an incredible addition to the team this year and he has started with CP3 out. His energy on both ends of the court is incredible and he was born to play for the Mike D’Antoni system.
Austin Rivers was recently signed to take the minutes left by Paul, and he has thrived as well. He is knocking down shots with ease, driving to the paint well and fitting in well on the defensive end. He will be the perfect backup to CP3 when he returns (like he was in LA).
The depth will continue to get even better, too. James Ennis is hoping to return for Thursday’s game against the Warriors. He’s been a solid role player for the squad this year and can start or come off the bench interchangeably. Eric Gordon is just day-to-day too, so he should be back to help contribute soon.
No need to rush back CP3
When it originally looked like the Rockets might struggle in the weeks without Chris Paul, they have actually improved their record and currently find themselves tied for fourth in the Conference, just three games back of the No. 1 seed.
The goal should be to make sure Chris Paul is 100% healthy with his hamstrings and ready to finish out the season strong as the playoffs come. He had just a 2-4 week diagnosis, and the team should lean more towards the 4 week mark. The schedule eases up a bit in January, so it’s a perfect time (if there is one) to be hurt.
A healthy Chris Paul is a dominant one. His play can make the already-great Rockets even better as they head into the second half of the season. Let’s just make sure he’s completely ready to go before we rush him out there. Thanks to James Harden and Co., that’s a luxury the Houston Rockets can afford right now.