The Houston Rockets are going to be Chris Paul‘s team for a few weeks.
James Harden left the Rockets game against the Lakers Sunday night with just a few minutes left after injuring his hamstring. The Rockets have now said that it’s a Grade 2 strain and Harden will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Two weeks is likely on the short side for Harden, Grade 2 strains often take a month to heal completely (it involves a partial tear of the muscle, there are degrees of severity and we don’t know where Harden is). Hamstrings also are not like other injuries, it’s not just matter of playing through the pain, the muscle needs to be allowed to heal completely or it is very easy to re-injure it.
Harden has been playing at an MVP level this season — 32.3 points per game, 9.1 assists, and shooting 39 percent from three — leading the Rockets on a 14-game win streak at one point. Houston has been the second-best team in the NBA, and it’s because of Harden.
Chris Paul, just back from injury himself, will have the ball in his hands more. That’s not a bad thing and the Rockets will keep on winning, which will make it easier to be patient to make sure he gets right. Houston has to have it’s focus on April and May, not racing Harden back in January.