Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley underwent an MRI on his right knee this morning, after re-injuring it last night in game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers. The knee sprain does not appear to be as serious as had been feared and Beverley is likely, though not guaranteed, to take the court in game 2 of the series on Wednesday night. The Rockets released this statement via the Houston Chronicle:
Patrick Beverley underwent an examination this morning with team physician Dr. Walt Lowe. The evaluation revealed no acute issues. Beverley is listed as day-to-day, but will likely be available for Game 2 on Wednesday.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sport, there is no new damage involving Beverley’s meniscus, which was torn on March 27th. This is all fantastic news for the Rockets, who have no skilled defensive guards past Beverley. It looks like he will be able to keep playing without missing any time.
However; his level of play is now in question. Will he be as quick? As energetic? Beverley’s trademark is his tenacity on the court, but it’s difficult to harass other players when your own body is harassing you. It is possible that Houston head coach Kevin McHale will temporarily bring Beverley off the bench to avoid further injury.
For the Trail Blazers, this means an easier job for Damian Lillard. Guarded tightly by Beverley, Lillard scored 31 points in game 1, despite the unfavorable defensive matchup. If the Rockets are unable to lock him down with a healthy Beverley, their chances to do so with a banged up one are drastically lower.
If Beverley is unable to play his allotted minutes at full pace, McHale may have to get creative with his lineup – something he is notoriously bad at. Regardless, this is set to be one heck of a series.