How the LA Clippers can survive without Patrick Beverley

LA Clippers Patrick Beverley (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Patrick Beverley (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Patrick Beverley is set to miss the next few games due to a wrist injury, but the LA Clippers should be able to survive without him. Here’s how.

There’s no such thing as a “good” injury, but LA Clippers fans should feel extremely lucky about Patrick Beverley‘s diagnosis.

During the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz, Beverley suffered what appeared to be a right arm injury. The guard hit the ground hard after driving to the hoop, and he was seen grabbing it before running back to the locker room on his own.

His ailment has since been listed as a right wrist injury, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Beverley will is expected to miss the next few games.

So how can the Clippers survive in the meantime?

Beverley is the heart and soul of this team, and that’s something that can’t be replaced. He packs a lot of heart into his six-foot, one-inch frame as well, and his intensity — particularly on the defensive end of the floor — is almost unmatched across the league. No Clippers reserve can do what he does.

Fortunately, the Clippers have an abundance of backup guards that can split his minutes between them. LA has called upon Lou Williams and Terance Mann to start in his place before, with varying levels of success.

Williams’ offensive ability more than makes up for Beverley’s, but moving him from the bench to the starting rotation makes pairing him with Montrezl Harrell more difficult, and those two make up one of the most potent pick-and-roll combinations in the league. The move would also weaken the bench as well, which has become one of the team’s best weapons.

In the four games that Williams has started this season (all of which have resulted in losses), the bench has averaged 37.0 points per game. And while that’s still a high number (it would rank 13th in the league), it’s far from the 50.6 points per game that LA’s bench usually averages, which is the best mark in the NBA.

Mann can’t do what Beverley can offensively, but he’s a solid replacement defensively. He can defend multiple positions, dish out an assist here and there, and can rebound the ball effectively given his six-foot, five-inch frame.

The Clippers could also choose to start Landry Shamet, who was listed as a combo guard coming out of Wichita State. He’s a better option defensively than Williams and a better shooter than Mann, and he’s got more experience as a starter this season than both Williams and Mann.

Lastly, Derrick Walton Jr. should see his minutes come up a bit, as he’s been above-average on both sides of the ball when active this season.

One of the few “good” things about Beverley’s injury is the timing. In the coming week, the Clippers will go up against the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks — four teams that are among the worst in their respective conferences. LA will also get four full days off after playing the Knicks before hosting the Golden State Warriors, another team that has underperformed this season.

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If the LA Clippers were entering a difficult portion of their schedule, there would be more reason to worry about their standing and Beverley’s absence. But with a light week ahead, Beverley should get ample time to recover while the Clippers work to find a solid rotation for these games as well as for any others that he misses in the future.