Rockets star Chris Paul is receiving treatment ”around the clock” on his injured right hamstring and coach Mike D’Antoni hopes it will only be a matter of days before he is healthy enough to play again.
The timeline remained unclear whether Paul might be fine to play a possible Game 7 if the Rockets lost Saturday night’s Game 6 and had to return to Houston to face the Golden State Warriors again Monday night. Eric Gordon started in Paul’s place Saturday at Oracle Arena.
”I think he’ll play as soon as he can Jim Otto Jersey
,” D’Antoni said before the game Saturday. ”It’s just not a question of trying to outsmart. He’s going to play. As soon as he’s able to walk and run, he’ll do it. There was no shot at it today.”
Golden State forward Andre Iguodala was out for a third straight game this series after he sustained a bone bruise in his left knee during Game 3. Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala continues to have pain when running, so he’s still listed as day to day.
”It’s a bone bruise, and those are hard to predict,” Kerr said. ”Until he’s able to really run without pain, then he can’t play.”
Paul’s presence at Oracle Arena still meant plenty.
”He’s devastated. He has to be. We’re all devastated for him. At the same time, we’ll rally and do what’s right,” D’Antoni said. ”He’s so integral in what we do and the spirit of the team. And him being here is a big deal, and him being on the bench is a big deal. He’ll will us through, if he can.”
Kerr felt terribly for Paul – and others who have gone down.
”More than anything, I feel bad for Chris. The guy is a phenomenal player and competitor, and pretty much willed his team the last two games. He’s just been haunted by these types of injuries in his career, and it’s a shame,” Kerr said.
”I hate when anybody gets hurt. I hate when Andre got hurt. I hate to see Kevin Love last night, Kyrie (Irving). These guys train so hard and they’re here and they’re competing, and you want everybody to be healthy, but just the reality is it usually doesn’t work out that way. So you’ve just got to keep playing with whoever’s there and keep going.”
Second-year Golden State guard Patrick McCaw, who had been out since a scary back injury at Sacramento on March 31 when undercut by Vince Carter, was available to play after earlier being upgraded to questionable. He wasn’t expected to contribute key minutes given the injury and time missed.
”It would be a tough spot to put him in, in the meat of the game, with not having played for a long time. But at this point, it’s all hands on deck, obviously Eli Apple Jersey
,” Kerr said. ”You never know how the game’s going to play out. I had teammates who literally played one play in a playoff game and made a play and helped us win a game. So you just never know.”
LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-6)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, UC Irvine, Irvine, California
LAST YEAR: Coach Sean McVay led one of most remarkable single-season transformations in recent NFL history. Rams ended their streaks of 12 consecutive non-playoff seasons and 13 straight non-winning seasons with rampage to first NFC West title since 2003. Franchise with NFL’s worst offense in 2016 became league’s highest-scoring team, racking up 478 points after scoring 224 in previous year. Quarterback Jared Goff emerged as solid starter in second season, and running back Todd Gurley was NFL’s top offensive player with relentless year. Coordinator Wade Phillips’ defense also took quantum leap, with NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald leading makeover into versatile, hard-nosed group. Despite tepid home playoff loss to Atlanta, Rams captured city’s attention in second year back in LA, shrugging off competition from relocated Chargers.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: DT Ndamukong Suh, CB Marcus Peters, CB Aqib Talib, WR Brandin Cooks.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: LB Robert Quinn, CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Alec Ogletree, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Tavon Austin, LB Connor Barwin, offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
CAMP NEEDS: Donald skipped all of last season’s training camp, and is likely to hold out again while he attempts to land one of biggest contracts in NFL history. His absence didn’t hurt much last season, but every day he waits to begin partnership with Suh is missed opportunity. Rams acquired four elite veteran talents in offseason, and they all must connect with teammates quickly. Defense must adjust to styles of Talib and Peters, its two new aggressive cornerbacks. New starting middle linebacker must be chosen after Ogletree’s cap-related departure John Lynch Jersey
, with Cory Littleton likely to get first shot. Goff and Cooks must build chemistry to keep McVay’s high-octane passing game in top form.
EXPECTATIONS: Rams all-in on pursuit of first Super Bowl berth since the 2001 season, and have talent to get there. They’ve brought back almost every important part of last season’s excellent offense, and added three game-breaking stars to defense. Even if they still haven’t written gargantuan check necessary to make Donald happy, Rams intend to contend for championships for next several years, starting now.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Renton, Washington
LAST YEAR: Seattle missed postseason for first time since 2011 and injuries and depth issues caught up with aging core. Once-vaunted defense took significant step back and offense that had been best at running was downright dreadful. Seattle had one rushing TD last year by running back and QB Russell Wilson again spent large portions running for his safety. That Seattle won nine games and was in playoff conversation into late December was remarkable.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Rookie RB Rashaad Penny, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Jaron Brown, TE Ed Dickson, OL D.J. Fluker, DT Tom Johnson, DT Shamar Stephen, rookie DE Rasheem Green, LB Barkevious Mingo, rookie LB/DB Shaquem Griffin, K Sebastian Janikowski, K Jason Myers, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, offensive line coach Mike Solari, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: RB Eddie Lacy, WR Paul Richardson Kyle Williams Jersey
, TE Jimmy Graham, OL Luke Joeckel, DE Cliff Avril, DE Michael Bennett, SS Kam Chancellor, CB Richard Sherman, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, offensive line coach Tom Cable, defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
CAMP NEEDS: Happy Earl Thomas is good place to start. Thomas held out from offseason activities and has said he will not take part in team functions until contract situation is addressed. Thomas’ deal expires after season. Who will be Seattle’s No. 2 wide receiver? Tyler Lockett, now fully healthy after broken leg suffered late in 2016? Veteran Brandon Marshall after injury-filled 2017? Seattle must also find pass rush after departures of Bennett and Avril. Frank Clark can’t do it alone.
EXPECTATIONS: Different than they’ve been since first couple years of Pete Carroll’s tenure. Seattle clearly decided to refresh locker room this offseason. Gone are big personalities of Sherman and Bennett. Also gone: lots of talent, a void that may not be filled immediately. There is optimism about Seattle’s rookie class, but for first time since 2013 Seahawks don’t go into season as one of favorite.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8)
OPEN CAMP: July 27, Glendale, Arizona
LAST YEAR: Cardinals dealt with myriad injuries but managed to pull out win in Seattle in finale to finish 8-8 in coach Bruce Arians’ final game. He announced retirement next day. Arians finished with franchise-record 50 wins, but his teams failed to make playoffs in last two years. QB Carson Palmer, after another season shortened by injury, also announced retirement. 8-8 record came despite loss of standout running back David Johnson when he dislocated wrist in opener. It was another standout year for Larry Fitzgerald: In 14th NFL season, he finished second in league in receptions with 102. Outside linebacker Chandler Jones led NFL with 16 sacks.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Coach Steve Wilks, QB Sam Bradford, QB Josh Rosen, QB Mike Glennon, RT Andre Smith, RG Justin Pugh Steve Grogan Jersey
, WR Brice Butler, WR Christian Kirk, CB Jamar Taylor, RB Chase Edmonds.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Arians, Palmer, S Tyrann Mathieu, WR John Brown, WR Jaron Brown, QB Drew Stanton, OT Jared Veldheer, CB Justin Bethel, OG Alex Boone, DT Frostee Rucker, ILB Karlos Dansby, DT Josh Mauro, TE Troy Niklas, OT Earl Watford.
CAMP NEEDS: With new coach and new systems on offense, defense and special teams, plen Jacksonville Jaguars Elite Jerseys