CULVER CITY, CA-Patrick Beverly is ready to do work for the Los Angeles Clippers. Listening to Beverly as he spoke at the introductory press conference for himself and other players acquired by the Clippers this summer, it’s clear that the former Houston Rockets star is looking forward to the prospect of playing for Doc Rivers and sharing the court with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
“Excited. Fortunate. Blessed to get an opportunity to play for a top-notch franchise, a top-notch organization, and play for a coach who have been successful with point guards in the past, excited to be out there with new teammates, excited to enjoy the grind of being successful of getting to reach our goals,” Beverly said. “I’m just happy to be here.”
Beverly is unfazed by any type of comparisons made about his game and the way Paul plays. There really is no comparison between the two players. Paul is a great mid-range jump shooter and a league all-timer when it comes to assists. Don’t expect Beverly to be Paul’s clone. Career-wise, Beverly averages roughly over nine points and three assists per game.
There is no “wow” showcase to Beverly’s game except on the defensive end where he rises above other point guards. Beverly’s basketball makeup is making other players look bad on the offensive end. He is not a player you can define by the numbers. Looking up and down at his offensive statistics from his five years in the NBA, eye-popping numbers are hard to find.
That’s because numbers do no justice to the kind of game Beverly brings to the table. Beverly is a defensive guru. Sure, he can score when he needs to, but the engine that drives the truck for Beverly is locking up the opposing team’s guard. That’s particularly a bumpy ride considering how offensively lethal Western Conference teams has become in the point guard department.
Paul (Houston Rockets), Golden State Warriors Steph Curry, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley Jr., are just some of the talent that Beverly have faced off with in the Wild, Wild West. Add in Rajon Rondo (New Orleans Pelicans), Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and league MVP Russell Westbrook, going eye-to-eye with this kind of talent for 82 regular season games can be a pretty tough deal.
This kind of challenge only makes you work harder and play better, Beverly said.
“This whole league, top to bottom, is very high-level,” Beverly said. “In this offseason, the West didn’t…it got much better than it was last season. So that makes the game that much better. It makes you..it forces you to be that much pointed with the details, acquainted how teams run their stuff. Defense is easy. It’s always a will. I think that defense is a will and offense is the easy part. Once you take care of the defense, everything else falls in place.”
This past season, Beverly earned kudos as an NBA All-Defensive first team member. He probably should have received that kind of recognition for the last couple of seasons. But with Paul no longer serving up lobs to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and with sharp-shooters Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick no longer part of the Clippers, Beverly may have to step his game on the offensive end of the floor.
Last season, Beverly shot 42 percent from the field, 38 percent from downtown in 3-point land. If called upon, Beverly can deliver some scoring punch, but he knows the ticket that he’s punched the last five years has been on the other side of the ball.
“I lay my hat on defense,” Beverly said. “That’s what got me into this game…defense got me in. I’m going to lay my hat on that, but I’m still fortunate to be able to just play some offensive opportunities this year. I’m excited about that.”
Besides all of the X’s and O’s being drawn up, as point guard, the mantle of leadership is a lingering question for the Clippers’ locker room now that Paul, Redick, Crawford and Luc Mbah a Moute, have all departed. That responsibility may have defaulted to Beverly.
“I go out there and I like to do things the right way, consistently doing things the right way” said Beverly. “I’m old-fashioned; you get out what you put in. [If] you want to be good, you have to works towards it. That’s what the great ones do.”