Chris Paul Won’t Return vs. Heat After Hamstring Injury Diagnosed as Strain
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 24:  Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported the veteran was ruled out for the remainder of the contest with a strain.

Paul arrived in Houston in a June 2017 trade from the Los Angeles Clippers to create a dynamic one-two punch in the backcourt with James Harden. He’s long been one of the NBA‘s most effective players, ranking first among guards in win shares since his rookie season in 2005-06, per Basketball Reference.

Injuries have held the 33-year-old Wake Forest product back throughout his career, including in recent seasons. He missed a combined 45 games over the past two years because of multiple ailments, including consistent knee and hamstring issues.

If the veteran guard is forced back to the sideline, Brandon Knight and Michael Carter-Williams figure to see the biggest uptick in playing time as part of the backcourt rotation.

That said, Harden is likely to take much of the ball-handling duties, and Eric Gordon will serve as a secondary playmaker.

Paul is at the stage where the Rockets can expect to play without him for a couple of stretches throughout the campaign. Houston will just hope he’s at full strength when the playoffs roll around in the loaded Western Conference.

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