OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Patrick Beverley is the guy everyone loves when you have him on your team.
But put loyalties aside for a second and it’s anyone can quickly realize the Rockets guard and his story of never giving up is what makes the NBA so special.
“We know he will come up with the big play, the big rebound, the loose ball, now he’s hitting the big shot,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s invaluable when he gets on the bus in the morning.”
The last part is what makes him unique and in an organization which elevates stats to another level, Beverley’s impact is hard to put into numbers.
“There’s definitely no analytic number for that one,” D’Antoni said.
Praise which for Beverley will always be appreciated given the road he’s traveled.
“It’s a huge praise of course,” Beverley said as he prepared for Game 3 in Oklahoma City. “You guys have been around me. I just go out there and I just play ball. I play like I’m outside, I play like I’m at the park.”
The point guard has displayed that style Houston has grown to love in the first two games of the playoffs, being the spark the team has needed at pivotal points.
In Game 1, he notched a double-double scoring 21 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Game 2 saw Beverley total 15 points while picking up 6 rebounds and 4 assists all while playing that fast paced, in your face type of basketball that makes his opponents want to scream.
Take Ryan Anderson for example. For years, he played against Beverley and now he’s happy that those headaches of dealing with him have turned into respect for a game which is key to the team.
“When you’re on the opposite team and you’re playing against Pat, he annoys you,” Anderson said with a laugh. “When he’s on your team, he’s one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever had. I love Pat. He’s become a good friend of mine and being on the court, he makes the game so much better for us.”
No player on the Rockets know Beverley better than James Harden and it was right away that the MVP candidate realized the type of player they had this guy from Chicago.
“When he first got here, that’s what got him from overseas here,” Harden said. “His energy, him being a dog, him being a great on ball defender. These last couple of years he’s developed a shot, he’s developed confidence in the floater so he’s been working extremely hard to where is right now.”
That non-stop mentality has been with him throughout his career, especially during the years he played overseas. Crowds in the NBA might seem hostile, but the reason he’s a tough player is the experience before he came back to the United States.
“I got hit in the face with quarters overseas I don’t think anyone is hitting me in the face here,” Beverley said. “In Turkey, I had lasers in my eyes, little firecracker bombs going off in the back. I don’t think any of that is happening over here.”
No, these days he seems to be the one causing all the necessary problems which for the Rockets is exactly what they need.
“He couldn’t play any other way,” D’Antoni said. “That’s why he went to Ukraine, Russia and Greece now he’s a star in our league because of that mentality and that ability to sustain what he does.”
“I’m sure he was the same pain in the butt in Ukraine. It’s a talent. It’s something you can’t put a number to.”
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