When the Houston Rockets have their full starting lineup intact, they are capable of being one of the best teams in the league. Since late January, they have won 19 of the last 24 games and have established an identity as a team to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately, their hopes of being a powerhouse in the West in the playoffs took a major hit on Friday with the news that point guard Patrick Beverley could miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley could be lost for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Beverley, 25, will get a second opinion on the injury soon, sources said, and then it’ll be determined whether there’s possibly a rehabilitation process that could expedite his return before the end of the NBA playoffs, sources said.
Beverley is not having a big season from an offensive standpoint, but his ability to lock down just about any point guard in the league is something simple numbers cannot explain. He has had a major impact on the Rockets on the defensive end and has justifiably been the starting point guard over Jeremy Lin.
With Beverley out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, the team will have to somewhat re-invent themselves real quickly before the start of the playoffs and rely on Lin for big minutes at the point guard position. In the past, they had the luxury of playing Aaron Brooks when Lin or Beverley missed time, but Brooks was traded for Jordan Hamilton before the trade deadline.
LOOKING FOR ROCKETS TICKETS? LOOK NO FURTHER.
LEBRON JEALOUS OF MIGUEL CABRERA’S BIG CONTRACT:
LeBron James knows how valuable he is to the Miami Heat and to the NBA. Yet, he is forced to earn as much as players that are nowhere near his level because of the salary cap. After seeing what Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers was signed for in MLB, James couldn’t help but wish he could get a payday like the first baseman, from Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
LeBron James says he was amazed and a little jealous when he heard Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera signed a contract Friday that guarantees him $292 million over the next 10 years.
“I said ‘wow,’ ” James said before the Miami Heat played the Detroit Pistons on Friday. “I wish we (the NBA) didn’t have a salary cap.”
“He’s the best player in baseball, and the best players in each sport should be rewarded,” James said. “It’d be nice to sign a 10-year deal worth $300 million.”
James can opt out of his contract this summer, a decision he has said he won’t make until June. But he did say Friday he’d surely opt out if he could get a Cabrera-type deal.
“I would do it this summer for sure,” James said with a smile. “I’d opt out for that.”
CLIP OF THE DAY:
During a blowout game between the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, a basketball was signed by Hakeem Olajuwon and thrown into the stands. A man caught the ball and showed that sharing is caring. This clip is awesome:
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Mike Woodson has been somewhat delusional or confused at times this season when it comes to talking about the New York Knicks. On Friday, that state of mind continued when asked about how good Carmelo Anthony has been this season, from Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal:
Woodson said he thinks Carmelo would be an MVP candidate again this season if the team’s 30-42 record was flipped around.
Too bad Rick Adelman doesn’t have the luxury of giving Kevin Love that kind of compliment: if the Minnesota Timberwolves flipped their current record around, they would be just 35-36. Aside from this silly, needless crediting of Anthony’s great season from a statistical standpoint, even if the record was magically flipped, Anthony would be lucky to enter the discussion for Top 3 candidates for this season’s MVP. To be more frank, he really wouldn’t be in the conversation among the likes of Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Blake Griffin with a 42-30 record.
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:
- Carmelo Anthony says the pain of having to deal with this terrible season would be cured by making the playoffs, from Marc Berman of NY Post: “Asked if his view on the campaign would change if the Knicks made the playoffs, Anthony said, “Absolutely. Nobody really looks at the regular season. It’s over with. Everybody starts 0-0. Our goal is to get there.’’ If they get there, the Knicks will have a sub-.500 record. Even if they run the table in the final 10 games, the Knicks would finish 40-42. “I’ve never had a losing record before,’’ Anthony said. “This year has been a very challenging year mentally, emotionally for me. I still find ways to remain positive throughout the situation and try to win basketball games. Through the whole season, we still have a chance to get in the postseason.’’. Unfortunately, the hopes continued to fade after losing to the Phoenix Suns on Friday 112-88.
- Mike Woodson opened up about Amare Stoudemire and how tough it has been to limit him for much of the season, from Berman of NY Post: “I couldn’t be more proud of him,’’ Woodson said. “Amar’e’s worked to play basketball. A lot of players would’ve called it quits. He’s hanging right there with us. “To keep bouncing back, it takes a lot of mental and physical effort,’’ Woodson added. “He keeps doing it. That to me is a sign of a true pro. A lot of guys would after a while forget it [and say]: ’I had enough, enough is enough.’ He hasn’t been like that. I admire him for that. I know how hard he’s worked.’’… “I had no idea what I’d get,’’ Woodson added. “I just didn’t. When medical tells you he has to start out at 10 minutes a game, that’s tough. “I always keep my fingers crossed with Amar’e.”
- Stoudemire says he felt forgotten about when the team brought in Andrea Bargnani, from Chris Herring of Wall Street Journal: Amare’s initial feeling abt the Bargnani trade: At the time I “kind of felt forgotten about” when tm traded for another jump shooting PF/C… Stoudemire said he figured that the Bargnani trade was probably insurance for him and his chronic knee situation.”
- The Los Angeles Lakers may already be looking to find a way to bring in Kevin Love, but Minnesota has no plans of allowing such a thing to happen for the time being, from Marc Stein of ESPN: “The suggestion is already in circulation that the Lakers will attempt to use their forthcoming high lottery pick in June to assemble the sort of trade package that finally convinces the Wolves to part with Love and end the uncertainty that hangs over this franchise even before the 25-year-old enters the final year of his contract. Yet there is just as much defiance emanating from Minnesota, as we speak, about the Wolves’ ability to keep Love in town. You continue to hear that Wolves owner Glen Taylor remains determined to try to convince Love to stick around and will keep resisting trade offers until, as one insider puts it, he “has no choice.” The Wolves are quietly optimistic about the marketing profile that the Taco Bell-endorsing All-Star starter has established for himself in a supposed small market as well as the relationship new team president Flip Saunders has forged with Love, who would have to be willing to leave some $30 million on the table, Dwight Howard-style, if he wants to force his way out.”
James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.