The Emergence of Patrick Beverley

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"I'm a dog". Patrick Beverley's description of himself was almost as charming as it was fitting. He plays like a rabid dog chasing his own tail. That is said as a compliment - an entirely accurate, compliment.  He's hard to predict, and he's hard to calm down. One would think that starting a rabid dog chasing his own tail at shooting guard in the NBA would be problematic, but Patrick Beverley finds a way to make it work.

The Houston Rockets have dominated the NBA since Beverley's return from knee surgery. Say what you want about the scrappy, Chicago born guard, but his impact on this team is currently undeniable. Beverley is having a career year on both ends, and as a result, the Rockets look better than ever.

Since Beverley's return, and the Rockets have a net rating of +14.4 with Harden off the floor, going 10-2 in that span. Before that, Houston had what would be the worst net rating in the NBA with Harden on the bench. The rotations are mostly the same, the only thing that has changed is Patrick Beverley. He currently sports by far the best net rating on the team, at +15.5. To put that in perspective, the second highest is 9.3.

No one would have pegged a well below average starting point guard to make such a difference. He never made that big of an impact in previous years. What changed? He did. Beverley has regained his All-NBA defensive form that made him such a valued commodity in 2014 and on top of that, he's excelled in the offense, whether it be playing off of Harden, or running the show with with bench unit when Harden's out.

Beverley's biggest weakness has long been his passing, and this year, he inexplicably turned that weakness into his greatest strength. He was always able to get to the rim, but, because of his tunnel vision and inability to finish, there was nothing he could do once he got it to the paint. This year, with his new-found vision, he's found a purpose for his probing of defenses. Beverley almost never looks to shoot amongst the trees in the paint. Instead, he's reading the defense to find where the ball should go. Here he attacks the rim and does a phenomenal job finding the trailing Capela. He's averaging a career high in assists at 4.7.

"He does the little things" is typically a cliche, but in this case, few phrases apply better. Beverley has a knack for getting loose balls. He has this ability to find angles to get loose balls. The games are chaos when he's on the floor (with Beverley always being in the middle of it) and the team excels.

When Beverley gets loose balls, the team thrives.

Beverley has always played hard, that's what got him to the league and helped him find the floor. What kept him on the floor was his work ethic and his consistent improvement, fixing all his flaws over time, never losing his dog-mentality, even after getting a big contract. Beverley stays ferocious no matter what, forever seeking the next opponent to infuriate. People often change, but Patrick Beverley doesn't. He remains a dog. He remains Patrick Beverley.

1 comment:

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