The Houston Rockets started out the season with a solid 18-10 record and seemed like a team on the verge of hitting their stride at that point of the 2013-14 NBA season. However, that’s also the time of the year when point guard Patrick Beverley went down with a fracture in his right hand.
After missing 13 games, though, Beverley will be back after this weekend as he tweeted out early on Saturday morning that he was excited to be coming back on Monday. That report was then later confirmed by Yahoo! Sports, solidifying that the Rockets will have their point guard duo of Beverley and Jeremy Lin in full-effect at the start of the coming week.
Beverley’s individual numbers when he’s been healthy this year have hardly been jaw-dropping. In 25 appearances, Beverley has averaged just 9.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 31.5 minutes per game while shooting a mere 42 percent from the floor. However, it is the impact that Beverley will have on the Rockets’ defense that is huge.
It’s no secret that the Rockets are a severely flawed defensive team, but it’s also no secret that Beverley is a talented perimeter defender that can help this Rockets team be slightly better on that end of the floor. To put it into context, the Rockets have surrendered 108.7 points per 100 possessions with Beverley off the court, as opposed to 104.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Even more telling, the Rockets gave up 101.3 points per 100 possessions as a team in the first 28 games of the year with Beverley healthy. In the 13 games since, they’ve been allowing 104 points per 100 possessions.
Beverley doesn’t bring the same offensive prowess that Lin does to the floor, but his defense is vital to this team. He doesn’t immediately make this team a top-10 defensive team, but he does make them respectable enough on that end of the floor that their offense is more effective. Since Beverley went down, the Rockets are just 8-5 and have been plateauing a bit. You have to guess that this team is hoping that Beverley’s return and his help to the defense will get them back on track for the second half of the season.