But, at best, Houston will still be down a starter.
The Rockets beat the Pacers in Indiana last night, and they’re headed to New Orleans – without Patrick Beverley.
Rockets point guard Pat Beverley flew back to Houston from Indianapolis on Tuesday to have his left wrist evaluated.
“If the news is bad on Pat, he might be out awhile,” McHale said. “We will find out the news on Pat, but the initial thought was that it might be bad. Hopefully it will be good news.”
Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni will plug the hole if Beverley is out an extended period, but that’s a dramatic drop defensively. Beverley is an All-Defensive-player, and Terry and Prigioni are negatives on that end.
Howard’s return could pay big dividends thanks to his rim protection. Opposing guards will definitely have easier paths into the paint, but Howard could slow them once they penetrate.
Offensively, Houston is far less reliant on its point guard than the typical team thanks to James Harden. Harden is a premier playmaker, and the ball will flow through him – with or without Howard – no matter who plays point guard.