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PJ Tucker says Rockets were a ‘hamstring away from having a championship’

PJ Tucker, Rockets

Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker firmly believes the Rockets would have won the 2018 championship if All-Star point guard Chris Paul didn’t suffer a hamstring injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

The Rockets had a 3-2 lead over the Warriors, but weren’t able to close the series out without Paul, who missed Games 6 and 7.

The Warriors won the series and wound up sweeping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals:

“We were a hamstring away from having a championship,” Tucker said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “You can rate it how you want and say what you want, but it was a great run. We won a franchise-record [65 games in 2017-18]. The [decision to trade Paul] is something that’s over my pay grade. I just play.”

The Rockets traded Paul this summer to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Houston acquired former MVP Russell Westbrook.

PJ Tucker is going to miss Paul. CP3 was Tucker’s childhood friend and former AAU teammate in North Carolina. People in Houston are always going to wonder what could have been if Paul never hurt his hamstring in the 2018 playoffs.

It’s a new era for the Rockets now, though. Houston is the only team in the league with two MVPs on the roster in Westbrook and James Harden. The 2019-20 season should be a fun one for Rockets fans.