Houston Rockets Injury Update: Could Patrick Beverley Return For Playoffs?
A surprising announcement came out of the Houston Rockets Camp that may be more than wishful thinking….
Injured point guard Patrick Beverley stated he may be able to return mid May if the Rockets are still in the mix of the playoffs. He’s scheduled to have his cast removed some time around May 18th to May 20th.
Initially the team stated Beverley would miss the rest of the season and the playoffs, but apparently they didn’t drive home that fact with their scrappy guard. In an interview with Fox Sports 26 Beverley said:
“When the cast comes off May 18, May 20th, wrap it up with tape and [I’ll] be good to go. I don’t care how weak it is. I don’t care how strong it is. I don’t care about that. As soon as this cast is off I’m back to business.” -Beverley
If he’s right and this isn’t just a player hoping it will be true the timing should coincide with the third round of the playoffs. Depending on where Houston end up it could be possible. There are still many variables of who the Rockets will face in the first round. If the Spurs lose their final game versus New Orleans and the Rockets win both their final games and if Memphis lose another game they will still win the division. Yeah I know that’s a lot of ifs!
“As soon as this cast is off I’m back to business.” -Beverley
The more likely possibility is Houston will finish either fifth or sixth. My prediction has them finishing fifth and repeating the opening round versus the Trail Blazers again. It’s actually the ideal pairing given the health of Portland and the fact Arron Afflalo is likely to miss at least the first few games given his shoulder strain.
Then the problem will be the second round where the Rockets would (barring an absolute miracle upset by the eighth seed) find themselves squaring off against the team who owned them this season: The Golden State Warriors who swept their season series and did so in very convincing fashion. Still, it’s not impossible for the Rockets to win, they’ll just need to address why the Warriors have dominated them on both ends of the court and make adjustments.
And then if they were to get past the Warriors they would likely find themselves matching up with the team who just taught them a lesson in humility this past week: The San Antonio Spurs.
Of note, the Rockets defense has been declining in recent weeks and although some of that can be attributed to working Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones back into the mix there is a larger component regarding the loss of Patrick Beverley’s defense.
It’s all a moot point for now because there are too many “what ifs” to occur, however the fact Beverley says he’ll return just points to the competitive nature of the scrappy guard. Furthermore it highlights the reason he is one of the most popular players on the team within the fan base.
Beverley also cited his ability to heal well and said he hopes to return as a Rocket next season. He enters free agency this summer, so that will be a hotly contested topic for GM Daryl Morey to address. Many felt the Rockets needed to upgrade the starting point guard at the trade deadline, but realistically given how much James Harden handles the ball how necessary is an upgrade? Could it be more important to add a very good back-up point guard who can handle the ball and score when Harden is on the bench?
All these questions will be answered in due time, yet the team is definitely recognizing Beverley’s absence equates to issues specifically on the defensive side of the court.
For now, Beverley needs to focus on getting healthy and allow his body the appropriate time to heal. Further, he needs to make sure he doesn’t allow his competitive spirit to overtake what is best for his long term health. In the end, that really has to be Beverley’s and the teams focus.
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