LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is a notoriously tireless defender. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up in his hustle on the defensive end. He is a key piece of the title favorite LA Clippers, starting as their point guard. He is also a tone-setter, with players often matching his aggression in end-of-game situations. This was perfectly exemplified in the Clippers’ Christmas Day win over the Lakers, where Beverley blocked LeBron James in the final possession of the game.
Beverley doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact on the Clippers in the bubble. His lack of offense is unspectacular, but his defense has also sagged. He isn’t attacking his matchup like he usually does. It seems as if PatBev has identified his issue. It is his stamina. Patrick Beverley spoke about this is the media scrum and said, “Definitely got to get my wind up a little bit. My conditioning is not where it needs to be. But, we have these games to kind of figure it out. I’m just happy to be back here, be back with my teammates and my guys, and get on this quest to win the NBA championship.”
The Clippers have had a mixed start to their bubble life. They beat the New Orleans Pelicans comfortably. However, they did fail to rival the Los Angeles Lakers. A lot of this has to do with the absence of the Clippers’ best bench players. Lou Williams is under a 10-day quarantine after he was seen going to a strip club to get chicken wings. Montrezl Harrell left the bubble to tend to his grandmother’s death, and it is unclear when he will be returning.
Doc Rivers has rarely had his full line-up available to him and still has gotten the number two seed in the West. They have gone 12-0 in games with their full rotation healthy. This depth makes the Clippers one of the favorites for the title this year. However, they will need to get over their losing habits without contribution from the bench. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George should be enough on a good night.
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