The LA Clippers hope Patrick Beverley will return for game one of their second-round series.
The LA Clippers have taken care of business by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the opening round of the playoffs. Now, they await the winner of the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz series to start the second round. They will know their opponent later today after the teams meet in game seven of their back-and-forth first-round matchup.
The Clippers also don’t know if they’ll have their starting guard Patrick Beverley back in the lineup, after missing all but the first game of their opening-round series against the Mavericks. Head Coach Doc Rivers recently echoed the thoughts of all Clippers fans saying that “hopefully” the defensive stalwart will be available for game one of their series.
“It’s hard to tell,” Rivers said. “We keep having these guys out. Hopefully, we can get Pat back for Game 1, and we can get back to our normal rotations.”
Whether the Jazz or the Nuggets advance to face the Clippers in the second round, Beverley’s defensive presence will be much needed on the floor. Both teams have guards that can catch fire and carry their team to victory in Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell, who have both been putting on a show in their first-round matchup. Murray has averaged 34.0 points per game on 58.5% shooting from the field in the playoffs. Mitchell is putting 38.7 points per game on 54.8% shooting. Beverley will give the Clippers one more tenacious defender to throw at either high octane offensive weapon, and allow them to use various looks and defensive schemes.
Beverley also brings a much-needed intensity to the floor that will be needed as the playoffs progress. He plays with a fire and a toughness that is infectious to his teammates and helps push the team when things get tough.
The guard’s status was upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” ahead of game six before being ruled out. He’s had some extra time to recover thanks to the Clippers taking care of things and closing out the series while Denver and Utah need a seventh game to decide things.
Beverley’s return will be a much-needed jolt of energy for the Clippers. Fans of the team can share in the feelings of their head coach that hopefully that return will be sooner rather than later.