Patrick Beverley on Chris Paul: ‘He can’t guard. He literally can’t guard.’

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Chris Paul and the Suns blew a 2-0 lead to the Mavericks, including getting destroyed in Game 7 last night.

Which means it’s time for Paul’s critics to take victory laps.

Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley on ESPN:

Ain’t nobody worried about Chris Paul when you play the Phoenix Suns. Nobody in the NBA. And I’m just letting you know how NBA players feel.

He’s finessed the game to a point where he gets all the petty calls, all the swipe-throughs at the end. I mean, this guy – we want to be honest? We want to be really honest? He should have fouled out. He should have fouled out. The last game, too. You see the replay against Brunson. Hit him on the shoulder, hit him in the mouth. Ref don’t call anything. If that’s me, “Oh, review it. Oh, flagrant one.” If that’s him, they don’t call it. So, let’s not get it twisted, man. He should have fouled out. He can’t guard. He literally can’t guard.

No, he can’t. Everyone knows that.

CP can’t guard nobody, man. Everybody in the NBA knows that. Everybody knows that. What do we call him? “Cone.”

Paul struggled defensively in this series. Dallas frequently targeted him, and he didn’t hold up. Maybe the 37-year-old has become a defensive liability.

But Paul was a good defender as recently as this regular season. He’s a smart player with quick hands and a strong base for his size. Paul could stick with guards on the perimeter and match up with big forwards inside. He was typically a step ahead getting to the right spot.

A few lousy defensive games against Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson are not enough to say Paul can’t guard.

Beverley later said he meant Paul can’t guard only in comparison to other top-10 all-time point guards: “I’m going to judge him based off exactly what you guys tell me that he is.” But it’s hard to reconcile that framing with “CP can’t guard nobody, man. Everybody in the NBA knows that. Everybody knows that. What do we call him? ‘Cone.'”

It really sounded like Beverley got on television, talked big (as he endearingly does) and got so carried away, even he realized it.