Chris Paul went through a shootaround with the Clippers on Monday, but the point guard’s status for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets remained a game-time decision, Coach Doc Rivers said.
Rivers said he would be more cautious with Paul’s strained left hamstring because it was a series opener as opposed to a game deeper in a series. Paul sustained the injury in the first quarter of the Clippers’ victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of their first-round series on Saturday.
Paul returned midway through the second quarter and scored 27 points, including the game-winning running jumper with one second left over the outstretched hand of Tim Duncan.
Rivers said he would listen more closely to trainer Jasen Powell than Paul because Paul was likely to try to play through discomfort.
“That’s why with Chris you’ll listen to the trainer more,” Rivers said. “Hamstrings, they’re tricky injuries. The MRI came out very good, but you still have to be very careful because those are things that even if you feel good and you go out there and hurt it, then you’re out and so you have to be careful with those.”
Rivers remained in a light mood despite the uncertainty surrounding his star point guard. When he was first asked about Paul’s status, Rivers said, “Uh, he’s alive.”