What is next for the Rockets with Chris Paul out?

Chris Paul's twisting and turning has him off the court for Game 6. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Rockets made it official on Friday: Chris Paul will not play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Oakland on Saturday night. Paul was injured late in the crucial Game 5 victory that put the Rockets up 3-2 in the series.

It remains to be seen if Paul will be available for a potential Game 7 on Monday, or even the NBA Finals should the Rockets get that far. Rest assured, they would not be up 3-2 without his efforts in Games 4 and 5. He was terrific in the second half of Thursday's game, and basically willed the Rockets to victory.

Paul has a long injury history and played 38 minutes in Game 5 before the injury, which was so bad he could not get to the other end of the court to play defense. 

Eric Gordon likely slides into Paul's role, and it probably means more minutes for Gerald Green. It also likely means time on the floor for Luc Mbah a Moute or Ryan Anderson, forgotten men in this series. 

And while Paul's loss is a devastating blow, the Rockets might still be able to pull things out if James Harden can shake a ridiculous slump that has seen him miss 20 consecutive 3-pointers. If he can show up, have a big game and get some help from Gordon and the rest of the supporting cast, the Rockets might be able to get it done. 

If so, it will be without Paul, at least for Game 6 and probably beyond.


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A lot of the issues that have plagued the Astros this season were on full display on Monday night, as the team coughed up a 2-run lead in the ninth to fall to the Orioles, 8-7.

Houston had a chance to tie the game up in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on third base and only one out. But as we've seen over the course of the season, the club wasn't able to get a timely hit in a big spot and it cost them big.

With the Astros scratching and clawing to win the division this year with only 11 games left, we wonder, where does most of the blame fall for the team's performance this season?

If we assigned a percentage of blame to these three categories (underperformance, injuries, Dusty Baker's lineup decisions) how would we divvy it up?

Plus, with so many fans and media calling for Dusty Baker to be fired, we have to wonder. Would a different manager fix what's been ailing the Astros this season?

Be sure to watch the video above as the guys break it all down.

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And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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