DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 13: Chris Paul (3) of the Houston Rockets backs down Monte Morris (11) of the Denver Nuggets during the first half on Monday, November 13, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Unfortunately for the Houston Rockets, this is bringing back bad memories. After having the ball stripped of him by Derrick Jones Jr. against the Miami Heat during action on Thursday, Chris Paul immediately hobbled over to the bench grabbing his left hamstring. Yup. The same muscle of Paul that many feels cost the Rockets an NBA Championship in the 2017-18 season. Another hamstring injury is going to sideline Paul for an extended period of time.

Even through all of this, there is some hope. A recent report from Adrian Wojnarowski says there is hope that Paul’s injury will only sideline him for two to three weeks. Early reports of a Grade 3 strain seemed premature and would have sidelined Paul for much longer.

This injury is coming at a terrible time for the Rockets. It’s possible they win Thursday night in Miami and extend their win streak to six if Paul does not pull his hamstring once again. Hamstring injuries have constantly been an issue for him throughout his All-Star career. The Rockets seemed to be hitting their stride after an atrocious start to the season. A few steps may have just been taken back again.

An absence at the backup point guard position has been noticed. Now would be a vital time to search the market and fill that role on the roster. Austin Rivers is a battle-tested point guard who is on the market and ready to join a playoff team. He and Paul were teammates with the Clippers and Rivers is a solid player. Rivers shot above 37 percent from the perimeter in his final two seasons with the Clippers, which fits exactly into what the Rockets look to do offensively. He can run an offense and brings a sense of grit and toughness that would be positive.

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A bigger workload is, unfortunately, going to be asked of reigning MVP James Harden. He has once again carried the Rockets offensively night in and night out, scoring at least 30 points in the last five games. He was also beaten up a bit during Thursday’s loss and suffered some eye swelling. Now would be a crucial time for Eric Gordon to step out of his slump and contribute like the Rockets are accustomed to.

Looking Forward

The Rockets are 0-5 in games Paul misses this season. Over the expected timeframe of his recovery, the Rockets will play teams ahead of them in the standings. None of these games are going to be a cakewalk. It is going to take a collective effort for the Rockets to get by while Paul rehabs that pulled hamstring once again.

The Rockets currently sit at 16-15 on the season and are tied with the Grizzlies and Kings for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

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