LA Clippers: Patrick Beverley may be the key in a title chase

Patrick Beverley may not be talked about as some of the LA Clippers other stars but he may be the most important piece on this team.

Take a look at the LA Clippers’ marketing this season. “Driven over given.” “We over me.” “Streetlights over spotlights”. While it does somewhat encapsulate the rivalry between the Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, it also rings true for Patrick Beverley. Beverley may not be the most talked-about guy in Los Angeles or even on his own team but he very well may be the difference between the Clippers winning or losing an NBA championship.

No, he’s not a traditional superstar. He won’t fill up highlight reels unless he’s arguing or matched up on someone much, much bigger. He won’t ever sniff an All-Star team. But let’s face it; Patrick Beverley is the heart and soul of this team.

He’s a natural leader, instructing players on the court and encouraging them off of it. He’s someone Doc Rivers completely trusts, so much, in fact, that he gives him a playsheet before each game, something he only previously did for Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul.

The stats back it up. So far in the 2019-20 season, Beverley has missed 12 games. Of those twelve, the team has won only six. Granted, four of those six wins came against non-playoff teams including a 49 point trouncing of the Atlanta Hawks.

It’s the six losses that stand out though. Four of those six were by single digits and one would have to think having Beverley on the court would have been a difference-maker. I mean, just looking at his season box plus/minus of 3.9 puts them right there in a couple of the losses.

His offense has looked great as of late. He is connecting on 37.9% of his catch and shoot three pointers. He’s also been very effective around the rim, converting on 58.7% of his shots coming at less than 10 feet. Bev stays in his lane on the offensive end. In fact, the team is 3.3 points better with him on the court.

Defensively, he has the third best rating on the team at 104.4 (first belonging to newly-acquired Marcus Morris), third most deflections at 2.5 per game, most loose balls recovered at 1.4, and draws the second most charges on the team. The team is worse with him off the court defensively as well. All in all, the Clippers net rating with Bev on the floor is 4.9 better, behind only Kawhi Leonard of those who have gotten regular minutes with the team this season.

The stats don’t paint the whole picture though. There’s a certain intensity he brings and his no-fear attitude late in games means a lot. How many guys would attempt to block LeBron James in a last second three point attempt? Really think about that. He’s insane.

His playstyle is also the absolutely perfect type to put next to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in late-game situations. Beverley doesn’t need the ball in his hand on offense and has no problem taking a tough assignment on defense. There’s a reason so many people saw this trio on paper at the start of the season and began to worry.

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Patrick Beverley’s big contract this summer was very much in line with the team’s “driven over given” motto. He worked his way into a starting point guard position in the league and is now a key factor in the team’s title chase. With All-Star break right around the corner, he will have hopefully have time to heal. The Clippers need Patrick Beverley to win.

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