Patrick Beverley says torn meniscus may not require surgery, timetable could be 10 days to four weeks

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Patrick Beverley of the Rockets reportedly suffered a torn meniscus injury that could put his ability to contribute in the postseason in jeopardy.

But speaking to reporters on Saturday, Beverley seemed a bit more optimistic.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

“No one was going to remove anything,” Beverley said. “We haven’t even discussed surgery yet. It looks to the point I think I might not have to get surgery. We don’t know. We have to see Dr. Andrews on Monday for him to make his educated decision about that.”

Removing, rather than repairing, the torn part of the meniscus is the procedure that generally allows a player to return more quickly. Beverley said Andrews has reviewed his test results. The Rockets list Beverley as day-to-day.

“I feel pretty good,” Beverley said. “I feel like I knocked knees with somebody. It hurt a lot the first day. I don’t really feel a lot of pain today, which is a good sign. No swelling. So I’m going to go see the best knee doctor in the country. I spoke to him on the phone. He has seen it. It really looks good. We’ll see how long it lasts. It may be 10 to 14 days, maybe four weeks. He just has to get his hand on it and see how it is.

If surgery ends up not being required, or if Beverley feels after the consultation that he could continue to play through the injury after a bit of rest and wait until the offseason to have a more detailed procedure, that would obviously be huge for Houston’s chances.

Beverley has been known as a pest to guards on other teams, which is part of what makes him so valuable to his. The perimeter defense he’s provided has been a major boost, and it’s allowed Jeremy Lin to produce with the second unit instead of being forced to play with the starters.

With Dwight Howard sidelined (albeit more temporarily), Houston could use some good news on the injury front. The Rockets have been among the strongest teams in the league since the All-Star break, but will obviously need their full complement of players available to continue to do damage once the postseason begins.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Pacers president Kevin Pritchard likes tweets critical of Paul George trade

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Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

Oops.

Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.

Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):

This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.

Report: Rival executives still expect Paul George to leave Thunder for Lakers

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Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.

He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.

Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.

So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency

Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.

There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.

Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.