Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed confidence in his team in spite of the recent injury to point guard Patrick Beverley.
The Houston Rockets defeated the Pacers in Indiana last week, and during that game starting point guard Patrick Beverley injured his wrist. The injury forced Beverley to return to Houston to have is wrist evaluated while the Rockets continued their road trip in New Orleans.
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The Rockets will need to become accustomed to playing without Beverley, because it was recently reported that Beverley will likely be out for the season after repairing torn ligaments in his wrist.
Despite this and a flurry of other injuries, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed his confidence that the Rockets could win the competitive Western Conference and eventually take home their third NBA title.
"“We think we can win the title with or without Beverley. Obviously it gets more challenging without Beverley; he’s the key to our ability to guard a lot of these very good point guards in the West.“We won’t go in as the favorite. I think Golden State, deservedly so, gets to be called the favorite. They’ve had a very historic season … We do feel like we can beat anybody in a seven-game series, and we’re pretty excited to get going with the playoffs.”"
The Rockets recently saw the return of center Dwight Howard from a knee swelling, but the team is still without forwards Terrence Jones and Donetas Motiejunas, the former due to a partially collapsed lung and the latter because of a lower back injury.
Fortunately for the Rockets playoff hopes, shooting guard and MVP front runner James Harden has remained relatively healthy throughout this season. Most have focused on Harden’s elite offensive production, but what has been overlooked in this season has been his vastly improved game along the defensive side of the ball.
Harden’s clutch block in the team’s win against the Washington Wizards on guard Bradley Beal demonstrated Harden’s renewed defensive intensity to limit opponent’s perimeter offense.
While he is still prone sometimes to dropping the controller on defense, Harden as done an excellent job pressuring the ball. The Rockets also have Trevor Ariza as a wing defender, and while Beverley’s replacements Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni are often defensive liabilities, the team has enough perimeter defense to hide them.
Beverley’s loss shouldn’t be discounted, and although the Rockets have recently ascended to second in the Western Conference at 50-23, teams just behind them in the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers could surpass them with a minuscule slip up.
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