LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 25: Patrick Beverley #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks at the crowd … [+]
Patrick Beverley is 6’1″, 185 pounds, and he stopped a 6’9″, 250 pound, LeBron James, from hitting a game-tying basket last night.
Just reading the sentence out loud seems unfathomable. How can someone stop an individual who is 8 inches taller, and weighs 75 pounds more than them? The answer to that question is Patrick Beverley. The type of hustle and tenacity required to take on a challenge like that is in Beverley’s DNA. Born in Chicago, he relishes any opportunity to prove the chip on his shoulder, to prove that he belongs in the NBA, and to prove that he’s best defender in the league. It’s a trait all of his teammates are fond of.
‘You saw immediately when he got that match up that he wanted it.’ – Paul George
The thing about Patrick Beverley, is that this isn’t a one time thing for him either. He’s routinely taken on the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player, in clutch moments, no matter what their size is. His success in doing so, has earned him the trust of his peers in these situations.
‘We’ve got all the confidence in the world in Pat to make that stop. He can guard anyone in this league.’ – Ivica Zubac
Patrick Beverley represents everything the Clippers want to be about. Last night, Beverley put up a stat line of: 8 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, on 3/7 shooting. To the casual box score viewer, it doesn’t seem like anything spectacular; Beverley doesn’t extend into the double digits in any category. However, he was a game high +26 on the night, brought crucial offensive rebounds, and significant stops that helped win the game. ‘He just makes hustle plays,’ head coach Doc Rivers said. ‘You can’t coach that.’ Beverley is that rare instance of a player that brings an intangible quality to the game, the walking definition of an ‘un-statable’ player.
‘He’s one of those guys that won’t show up in the stat sheet, but if you watch the game, he shows up… He’s a winning player.’ – Paul George
Beverley’s style of play is contagious to his other teammates. It’s a quality that’s hard to put a price tag on. One that makes Lou Williams, a noted poor defender, make smart decisions in the passing lanes. He’s an energy guy that gets the crowd going, dives for every singe loose ball, and jumps for every single rebound.
Last night was a prime example of this – he finished the night with 9 rebounds. Those 9 rebounds were tied for the game high of any Laker player, including: Javale McGee, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James. The Lakers are noted as one of the biggest teams in the league, and yet somehow, a 6’1’’ guard matched every single one of them in rebounding. In a land of giants, it was the smallest person on the court that contained the biggest heart. That heart led Beverley into getting a crucial offensive rebound that helped secure the Clippers’ victory last night, a moment that Doc Rivers called the play of the game.
‘Pat keeps doing that every game. First game against the Lakers he got one at the free throw line after a miss.’ – Ivica Zubac
When the Clippers signed Patrick Beverley to a 3 year, $40 million deal, some people scoffed at the signing. I had maintained that his return to the Clippers was worth more than just money and stats – last night was an example why. Patrick Beverley is the gift that keeps on giving for the LA Clippers.