For about the next month or more, the Houston Rockets will be trying to live life without Patrick Beverley, and believe me, his loss will be felt.
He'll be back eventually. Barring major setbacks, Beverley is looking at a return around December, but it could be until January until he is back to a major cog in the Rockets machine.
Right off the bat, you know that the defense that Beverley brought to the starting lineup will be missed. We all know James Harden is not the most defensively gifted player on planet earth, but that is where Beverley excels.
Beverley enjoyed getting into an opponent's head and trying to cause them to play outside of their game. He enjoyed picking people up full court and pestering them as they brought the ball up the court.
That's gone now.
Eric Gordon is the man that will get the start next to Harden while Beverley is on the mend. While Gordon is miles better than Beverley offensively, the inverse is true on the other end of the floor. Gordon will not be as annoying as Beverley, and Jeff Bzdelik can't count on him locking down his man.
Without Beverley, the Rockets could be looking at some really funky defensive lineups.
Depending on the matchups and where the other team's primary scorer is, you could see Trevor Ariza picking up guards and Harden picking up forwards.
The Rockets will tinker around with it, but not having Beverley will change things on that end of the floor.
Offensively things might actually get better. In the preseason, Gordon has proven to be a marksman from the three-point line. Harden now has another guy to look for as seconds dwindle off the shot clock (which, in a D’Antoni offense, ideally doesn’t happen often).
In the preseason, 58.9 percent of Gordon's shots were three-point attempts (he shot 39.4% from distance) and he also led the NBA with a 123.2 offensive rating.
Beverley is starting to becoming dangerous from the three-point line, but Gordon already is a proven commodity, plus he can be an above-average secondary playmaker.
Gordon should help the Rockets score tons of points, but without Beverley, the worry is that other teams are going to score even more.
Helping Gordon fill the void will be K.J. McDaniels, who will get an uptick in playing time. Pablo Prigioni and
Tyler Ennis Bobby Brown will clean up the rest of the free minutes.
McDaniels could help the team on the defensive end: Longer and lankier, he could play a poor man's Ariza, guarding prime scoring guards when Gordon needs to sit.
Beverley will be missed, but the Rockets can cobble together enough guys to make it work while he gets back into the flow of things.