When it was initially announced that Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley had suffered a knee injury, specifically to his meniscus, the outlook was relatively bleak. Initial reports were that Beverley could be out for the remainder of the regular season and the 2014 NBA Playoffs. That might not be the case, though.
According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Beverley said while speaking to reporters on Saturday that there’s a possibility that there will not be any surgery to remove part of the torn meniscus required. As of right now, Beverley is listed as day-to-day, but could return in 10-to-14 days, though the long-end of that estimate is up to four weeks. However, what’s important is that Beverley says that he will “for sure” play again this season.
While you obviously want to take the point guard at his word, there’s definite reason to be unsure about when he’ll be back on the floor for Houston. Given conflicting reports and a pretty wide timetable, it’s safe to say that we don’t really know when exactly Beverley will be back in action.
However, the return of Beverley and when it happens could very well determine the fate of this Rockets team, particularly in the postseason. While the Rockets have the offensive ability to hang with just about any team in the league with or without Beverley, it’s what Beverley means to this team defensively that could swing their fortunes.
It’s no secret that the Rockets don’t derive a great deal of their success from the defensive end of the floor. However, with Dwight Howard in the middle this season, they have been improved defensively. The issue that arises without Beverley on the floor, though, is that this team’s perimeter defense becomes too weak an relies too heavily on Howard to be a stopper at the rim and clean up messes.
More than just the defensive impact of Beverley, albeit somewhat related, the point guard not being in the lineup takes away a psychological advantage for the Rockets. With Beverley’s near maniacal tenacity on defense has often frustrated opponents this season, which has a tendency to play to Houston’s advantage. Opponents sometimes begin to let Beverley get in their heads, which allow the Rockets to take control of the game and ultimately get closer to victory.
Beverley is certainly optimistic about his potential return, which is a positive considering the initial diagnosis. However, with his return date in question right now, what’s for certain is that when he returns will play into how they fare in the playoffs and whether they can make a postseason-run or not.