Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will miss the team’s Game 1 outing against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals on Monday night, according to head coach Doc Rivers.
Paul suffered a hamstring injury during Game 7 of the Clippers opening-round series against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. While he was able to power through the injury to hit the game-winning shot, a day’s rest did not make the situation any better. In fact, a short rest of that magnitude probably did Paul more harm than anything.
This is a major blow to the Clippers early in the series. They don’t necessarily have a true back up point guard, and are now going to face a ton of full-court pressure by the Rockets in Houston on Monday night. With Paul out, it’s likely that Austin Rivers will take over the starting point guard job. That’s not an ideal scenario for anyone in Southern California.
Paul averaged 19.1 points and 10.2 assists per contest during the regular season and tallied the fourth-best plus-minus in the NBA at 9.0 per game. He put up an average of 22.7 points and nearly eight assists in the Spurs series.
With only one day off between Game 1 and Game 2, it’s safe to say that Paul’s status is also uncertain for Wednesday’s game.
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