Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets: Chris Paul could miss Game 7

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 04: Chris Paul
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 04: Chris Paul /

Chris Paul could possibly miss Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors.

The Houston Rockets and injured star Chris Paul should feel torn (no pun intended) heading into game 7 against the Golden State Warriors.

After injuring his hamstring in the Rockets game 5 win, Paul was out for game 6.  Not all that surprising since the loss will become insignificant to the Rockets if they can close out game 7 at home anyway.

If the Rockets are going to take their best final shot at the Warriors, it may as well be at home. But the Rockets’ odds will no longer be neck-and-neck to close out the series at home in game 7 with Paul’s health in question.

Even before game 6, the Warriors were already favorites to come back to Houston to win game 7.

CP3’s pending big decision

It feels very unlikely Paul will be 100 percent in time for game 7 on Monday night either.  If he were to play anyhow, it could affect his ability for the finals, as well as long-term health.

However, if Paul is feeling even just 50 percent, he should play in Game 7 (i.e., if he feels he can play thru the pain and play at least better than a replacement).

Because they need Paul for Game 7 against the Warriors, even at 50 percent, much more than they would need him at 100 percent against whoever they would face in the finals.

It is probable that Paul wouldn’t be 100 percent in time for the finals even if he rested for Game 7.  If he can attempt to play thru one more game during the 2018 NBA Playoffs, it should be Monday’s Game 7.

Paul is likely on the same page, given both his reputable competitiveness and long-time rivalry with the Warriors.  However, Paul’s long-term health for the remaining years of his career should be taken into account.

Risking permanent damage by playing thru the injury may not be worthwhile.  Especially, if Paul wouldn’t be able to play effectively anyhow.

Teams have to balance winning both now and the future.  The Rockets may be less threatening psychologically to the Warriors without Paul, but they have proven success without him as well, including this season.

Who will have the last shimmy

By winning Game 6, the Warriors will force Paul into making the toughest decision of his career.

Paul is in sports hell. Missing Game 7 against the Warriors is the worst scenario in the world to him. But he may have no choice.

He could miss his opportunity to finally beat the Warriors. Right when he was feeling ultra confident.  Shimming one moment, and injured the next.

Whether Paul plays or not, the Warriors have likely dodged their toughest competition at the very last moment en route to defend their crown.

Next: Warriors' title odds only slightly grazed after Game 5

If the Rockets manage to pull off the upset in front of their home-court crowd, there is hope for a competitive finals series after all, with Paul still rehabbing.