The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverly have been going at it non-stop in their round 1 NBA Playoffs matchup.
Per USA Today:
Durant has been primarily guarded by Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who, despite giving up more than eight inches in height to the former league MVP, has done a fantastic job. Durant has yet to complete a game in the series on the floor, after being ejected following a confrontation with Beverley in Game 1, and fouling out in Game 2.
“[The Clippers] have a little Leprechaun guarding a guy that is seven feet tall. Just go to the box make them double or make double or he going to score,” TNT’s Charles Barkley joked on Inside The NBA.
That assertion is right on the money.
KD weighed in yesterday:
“They’re playing a gimmick defense which has been working. Locking everything on the perimeter, guys not even looking at the 3-point line, they’re just forcing guys inside the 3-point line. For us, when I get the ball in my spots, I’ve got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who is up underneath me, who I could definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it’s a one-on-one situation, but we’ve got a guy that’s dropping and helping and then we’ve got another guy that’s just sitting on me, waiting for me to dribble the basketball.
If I put the basketball on the floor, I can probably make 43 percent of my shots if I shoot them like that, but that’s not really going to do nothing for us – the outcome of the game, because we’ve got a nice flow. Everybody touching the rock, everybody shooting and scoring. I’m not going to get in the way of the game because I want to have a little back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley. I’m Kevin Durant. You know who I am.”
The Golden State Warriors began their series against the Clippers as a favorite to advance.
As a matter of fact: The Clippers are the largest first-round underdog since 1988 as they take on the Golden State Warriors with 100-1 odds to come out on top against the two-time defending champions.
The Warriors on the other hand, gave up a 31-point lead at home in Game 2 in a stunning collapse. Both teams are dueling it out in Game 3 as we speak.
Per Basketball Society Online: The Clippers rely on a scrappy roster fueled by the hard-nosed attitudes of Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell while getting ‘just-add-water’ microwave offense from Lou Williams. Lou will have to have everything working for him on offense in order to keep Los Angeles in it. The Warriors have the bodies and experience to make life hard on the defensive end. Good defense is always susceptible to better offense, however, and once Williams gets hot there is nothing anyone can do.
“I enjoy going to Clippers’ games,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne tells Scoop B Radio.
“I haven’t been to as many as I normally do because I have a little baby at home, so I haven’t been going to quite as many games this year, but the ones I do go to, I think the Clippers are one of the best watches in the NBA. They play hard, they have a great system, they’re always working together, you don’t see people ball-hogging it, and they have this pick-and-roll between Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams and every team that plays them says the same thing, you know that’s coming, you know that’s what they’re going to do, and they still beat you with it every damn time. They’ve just got that down, I think Lou Williams is fun, Montrezl might be one of my favorite players these days, he’s a really good dude, didn’t know he had all that kind of offensive game when he came into the league, right? Like you see this energy guy, but he plays hard, he and I, off the court, we sort of bonded because we both have little babies at home, we show each other baby pictures, these guys are easy to root for. And we complain about teams that tank, but the Clippers absolutely tanked. They could keep their pick if they tank, otherwise they give Boston a first-round pick, it would be better if they would get a better pick, but they don’t, they play hard and I really appreciate that, I think that’s kind of how you should do it.”