Patrick Beverley’s game is predicated on pestering defenders and high energy, speed and athleticism. At just 25 years of age, Beverley should have a long career ahead of him in the Association as a player that can drive opposing point guards batty with his pestering backcourt defense. He’s been instrumental in the Rockets’ surge this year and even supplanted the much higher paid Jeremy Lin as the starting point guard.
Then, came a tear to the meniscus in his right knee. For those unfamiliar with the purpose of the meniscus, it serves as kind a lubrication in the knee joint to prevent wear and tear on the bones and ligaments.
It’s quite crucial.
Brandon Roy was diagnosed by doctors as having very little meniscus left in his knees, and despite Roy’s spirited attempts to remain viable in the NBA, he was unable to come back from the injury.
And the same may be said of Beverley, unfortunately, though we certainly hope not. Beverley opted to go without surgery on the knee—essentially placing the Rockets’ playoff chances as more important than the longevity of his career.
It’s understandable that there is a certain excitement that comes from being on a contending team and starting, but that enthusiasm has to be tempered.
The Rockets are still what most consider a “second tier” type of contender, and Beverley could return and essentially jeopardize his entire career for what equates to a short run in the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Even Beverley’s comments on his knee seem to hint at the fact he is missing the gravity of his injury. He said it just felt “like (I) knocked knees with somebody…I don’t feel a lot of pain today, no swelling.” And that’s the thing: He won’t feel a lot of pain in the knee, possibly until it is too late.
Beverley is a key part of the Rockets’ title hopes, the team’s best chances may be in seasons to come. There’s no indication that this is the Rockets’ “do or die” chance at a title…and again, Beverley is just 25 years old.
While he certainly seems ready to be back on the court judging by his emphatic and jumping celebration towards the end of Friday night’s victory over the Thunder, he was in street clothes for a reason.
Opting for surgery may not seem like the popular move right now for Mr. Beverley, but let’s just hope that a couple years from now we’re not shaking our heads and wondering how a guy got back on the court to destroy his knee and his career against better logic.