Western Notes: Beverley, Nuggets, Kanter

Rockets coach Kevin McHale told reporters, including Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, that injured point guard Patrick Beverley will “probably” miss the rest of the season. Beverley tore ligaments in his left wrist in a game against the Pacers on Monday. Beverley has been seeking opinions of specialists to determine whether he can play with the injury or would need surgery, Feigen added. Multiple sources close to the situation told Feigen on Sunday that no decision has been made.

Here’s more on the Rockets and the Western Conference:

  • Rockets rookie Nick Johnson has seen an uptick in minutes because of injuries like Beverley’s and his role in the point guard rotation will likely continue, Feigen writes in a separate story.
  • Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post believes the Nuggets could make a run at acquiring Nets big man Brook Lopez after the season if Lopez decides to opt out of his $16.7MM player option for the 2015/16 season. The Nets reportedly made attempts to trade Lopez at the deadline. The Nuggets had interest in landing Lopez before the deadline, Dempsey added.
  • Enes Kanter, who will become a restricted free agent this summer, is back to enjoying basketball because the Thunder have the big man playing to his strengths, Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes. Kanter was traded from the Jazz, at his request, in a deadline-day move. Kanter is averaging 17.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in 17 games with the Thunder as opposed to 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in 49 games with the Jazz earlier this season. Elhassan writes that the improved production with the Thunder is a result of fewer spot-up opportunities in Oklahoma City, more offensive rebound opportunities and a much higher pick-and-roll efficiency.
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