Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers thinks the odds are 50-50 point guard Chris Paul will return on Wednesday night to try to help the Clippers build a 2-0 lead over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.
Paul missed Game 1 against the Rockets because of a left hamstring that was strained in the Clippers' stirring Game 7 victory over San Antonio. The Clippers surprised many by opening the semifinals with a victory in Houston, but Rivers said that would not affect the timeline for Paul's return.
"It's a hard injury for your trainer because he at some point is going to give you the thumbs-up and he'll be sweating that whole night," Rivers said. "That's an injury you just don't know. … You've got to trust your player, which is the worst guy to trust in this situation. At some point he's going to play and we're going to be sweating because we're going to not know until he gets out there."
With one road win already in hand, some think it would be easier for Rivers to rest Paul in Game 2 and give him even more time to recover. But the Clippers lost two home games to the Spurs in the first round, and three of the four Game 1s played in the second round have been won by the road teams — Washington won in Atlanta — so Rivers knows nothing is guaranteed when their series shifts to Los Angeles.
"I hope it doesn't make them let their guard down," Rivers said. "It just tells you [that] you won a game. We won a game without Chris and that's great. But we just won one game."
Rose OK for Game 2
Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose said he has no pain in his right shoulder and doesn't expect to have any problems going into Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rose sustained a "stinger" in his shoulder late in Chicago's 99-92 win over the Cavaliers in the series opener Monday. Rose said he's "not sore or anything, so that's a good sign." He scored 25 points with five rebounds and five assists, showing flashes of the player he was before being slowed by knee injuries the past few years.
Rose doesn't think the shoulder will affect him in Wednesday's game. He got hurt when he tried to squeeze through a screen and banged his shoulder into Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson.