Another All-Star point guard suffers a knee injury in the first round of the playoffs and another Chicagoan is in the middle of the story. Not Derrick Rose, of course, since his own devastating ACL tear occurred almost a year ago. But his close friend and offseason training partner, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, will have to undergo surgery to repair his right meniscus after being injured in the Thunder’s win over Houston in the first-round of their Western Conference playoff series Wednesday night. The injury occurred when Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley lunged for a steal as the Westbrook was calling for a timeout. Beverley is a product of the West Side’s Marshall High School before embarking on a basketball odyssey that included a stint at the University of Arkansas and after being selected in the second round by Miami following his sophomore campaign, years playing overseas in the Ukraine, Greece and Russia before becoming a Rockets midseason acquisition. The 6-foot-2, high-energy Chicago native was a participant in the Bulls minicamp last July prior to the NBA’s summer league in Las Vegas. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been familiar with Beverley since before I even moved to Chicago, even before his legendary senior season — he scored in the neighborhood of 40 points per game and led Marshall, the alma mater of “Hoop Dreams” co-subject Arthur Agee, downstate — back when he was a mid-major prospect. That said, Beverley’s game has always been relentless and like the Westbrook play, he takes things to the referee’s whistle, on both ends of the floor, which is the reason that he’s made his improbable rise from overseas anonymity to starting for Houston — it shouldn’t be overlooked that he had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, as well as picking up the slack for Jeremy Lin, who was injured and didn’t play in the second half — in the postseason.
Rockets' Beverley doesn't deserve scorn for Westbrook injury
CSN Chicago | Apr 27