Rockets guard Patrick Beverley plays with a chip on his shoulder.
But that always makes Beverley a player who must be accounted for, especially when he’s on defense.
He knows that, and he wants credit for it.
Beverley, via Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
“(All-Defense) was one of my goals going into this year,” Beverley said. “Hopefully, people see that the way I play defense is top-notch in the NBA and I can make the All-Defensive team. … I think very few people do what I do defensively to change a basketball game. That’s what I do, I put my team in a good situation to win basketball games with my defense. I think it’s rare that you see that kind of gift that people have in the NBA but I am able to have fun with it.”
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Beverley definitely has a chance to nab one of the four guard spots on the All-Defensive teams. It’s a pretty wide open race, and the field also includes Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Lance Stephenson, George Hill and John Wall.
Playing for the NBA’s 11th-best defense doesn’t exactly help Beverley, but the fact that Houston plays like the league’s sixth-best defense when he’s on the court should. Without a doubt, the Rockets giving Beverley an expand role has improved their defense from last season.
But if Beverley really wants to make an All-Defensive team, the best thing he can do is get back on the court. He reiterated his plan to return during the regular season, and that would improve his case for the honor. All-Defensive team shouldn’t be just about who defends best when on the court, but also who makes the largest defensive impact, a criterion heavily influenced by playing time.
Even if Beverley hasn’t played enough this season to warrant votes – he’s already missed 21 games – he’s just 25. He’ll have opportunities to make the All-Defensive team in future seasons.
I suspect, though, Beverley would take a slight this season personally – which could make him even more of a defensive bulldog in future seasons.