The Houston Rockets will be without their lynch-pin for an unspecified period of time. A left knee injury has sidelined Patrick Beverley. Beverley has been earmarked as the starting shooting guard by new head coach Mike D’Antoni. Beverley missed the last four preseason games for unspecified reasons related to that left knee. The start of the regular season is less than a week away. Because of that, the worse news that D’Antoni could potentially receive is that Beverley will need surgery.
According to Calvin Watkins of ESPN, Beverley could undergo surgery which may sideline him for an extended period.
Pat Beverley news. https://t.co/plYW5ZUXXj
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) October 18, 2016
Patrick Beverley May Require Knee Surgery
A Huge Loss for the Rockets
Losing Beverley is especially tough for the Rockets and D’Antoni, as Beverley is a tenacious defender. Beverley takes pride in his defensive prowess. That’s something that superstar guard and teammate James Harden cannot claim for himself. Beverley defends the opponent’s toughest perimeter player every night, allowing Harden to concentrate primarily on offense.
The Rockets won’t be good defensively under D’Antoni. There have been rumors and innuendo that defensive strategy was neglected during team practice on at least one of his teams. Complicating matters further is the fact that the Rockets lost Dwight Howard — a stalwart on defense — this past off-season.
Next Man Up
With Beverley out, Eric Gordon will start at shooting guard. Gordon is not known for his defensive ability or prowess. In that regard, Gordon is just like Harden. Expect K.J. McDaniels to receive a significant bump in minutes, as well.
There’s no word yet on a date for Beverley’s return. Therefore, expect the Rockets to try to break the record for points scored this season. However, expect them to allow the most points from opponents, as well.
There could possibly be far reaching ripple effects from this injury. Look for Houston to be active in the trade market. Given the premium placed on guards in the NBA, expect the Rockets to try to acquire someone to replace Beverley.