Patrick Beverley suffered a partial muscle tear during the Houston Rockets’ first game of the season. Just like that, a lot of talk about why he was so much better suited to the be the team’s starting point guard than Jeremy Lin went out the window. After months of whispers, speculation and waffling back-and-forth on who belonged on the bench, it appeared as though fate had made the final call.
Fortunately for Houston, Beverley’s injury ended up not being particularly gruesome. He needed to sit out a few games – but nothing major.
On Monday night, the Rockets got destroyed by the Los Angeles Clippers 137-118. Frankly, the game wasn’t even as close as that final score would indicate. A big reason why the home team won so easily was because its all-star point guard, Chris Paul, was pretty much allowed to do whatever he wanted on the offensive end. Paul finished the game with 23 points and 17 assists in 33 minutes, but he could have probably gone 30/20 if the game was a little closer.
There were several reasons why moving Lin to the bench and promoting Beverley to starting lineup made sense, and the biggest one was latter guy’s far superior defense. Whereas Beverley will never be as good an offensive player as Lin, defensively, he’s far better.
And that’s why Beverley rushed back from an injury that was supposed to keep him out two weeks for the Rockets’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Houston won that one, on the road, 116-101.
All preseason the debate surrounding Beverley and Lin centered around which one should start. That question has now been answered. We know Beverley should start. The new question is: can he stay healthy? Because if he can’t, and if Lin is forced back into the starting lineup on a regular basis, the Rockets better start getting used to being smoked by quality opposing point guards.