by Chris Camello (@chris_camello)/ (@NitefallMedia)
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Clippers got back two key players on Sunday afternoon with All-Star Paul George as well as Patrick Beverley.
While the team is certainly glad to have both players back in the lineup, it’s certainly for very different reasons. George obviously provides another dynamic scorer and playmaker.
However, Beverley seemingly provides everything else. He may be known for his defense but it’s the way he defends with toughness, intensity, and heart. Those are things you don’t always see on a stat sheet but are extremely valuable to a team.
This Clippers team is clearly not the same without Beverley. While Kawhi Leonard and George are known as two of the elite two-way players in the game, not even they can duplicate what Beverley brings on a night-in, night-out basis.
Beverley plays with that fiery intensity that his teammates are able to feed off of every night and in a grinding 82-game season, it helps when your team has someone who is willing and able to set that tone every game.
The Clippers are clearly not the same when Beverley is not in the lineup. Going back to last season, they are just 4-8 when he doesn’t play lacking energy and focus.
The team defense is what suffers the most as the Clippers gave up 140 points in a home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Rookie Ja Morant scored 22 points on an efficient 7/10 shooting. You think Morant could have had the same type of game with Beverley hounding him?
Beverley’s game is comparable to Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. While Green isn’t a talented scorer, the Dubs don’t win those three championships without his playmaking, rebounding, intensity, and being the defensive leader.
If the Clippers are going to compete for a title, they will need Beverley to occupy a similar role as Green. Just focus on all the little things and they will take whatever he provides offensively. Most importantly be that spark that the Clippers will definitely need moving forward.