It was reported earlier today by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverly sustained a tear in the meniscus in his knee.
You may be questioning why I am reporting news not related to the Blazers. In fact, the news of Beverly’s injury heavily impacts much of the Western Conference. Beverly, known for his physical defense and mind tricks, is the Rockets’ best perimeter defender, and they have nobody to replace him. Any good guard, like Portland Trail Blazers G Damian Lillard or Golden State Warriors G Stephen Curry, now have the ability to drive through the paint against the Rockets, something that was near impossible earlier. It makes the match-up against Houston easier for every team.
Because Beverly is so important to the Rockets, this news could potentially change the standings and playoff seeds in the last 9 games. Here are the standings as of March 28, 2014 (click on the image to enlarge it):
As you can see, the battle between (4) Houston and (3) Los Angeles is very close. There is also a battle for the last four playoff spots among five teams: (5) Portland, (6) Golden State, (7) Memphis, (8) Phoenix, and (9) Dallas. There is a drop-off between seeds 3-4 and 5-9. That is why I think the possibility for Portland and Houston to switch spots, giving Portland home-court advantage, is unlikely. However, it is worth noting that Beverly’s absence, coupled with a potential surge by the Blazers, could lead to a switch (it’s just unlikely).
There are two methods to treat torn meniscus in the knee. The more common and advised method of treatment would sideline Beverly for the final 9 games of the season and the playoffs. The second option, which was used by other NBA players like Ex-Blazer G Brandon Roy and Oklahoma City Thunder G Russell Westbrook, would keep Beverly off the court for 3-4 weeks, allowing him to return and play in the playoffs.
I think Beverly would be ill-advised to try and play in the postseason this year. Not only will it jeopardize his future (as it did with Roy), but it also makes life a lot harder for the Blazers.
What do you think Beverly should do? What do you think will happen in the standings now that Beverly is out? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,