Among the many things the Chicago Bulls got when they brought in veteran Patrick Beverley is his support for his teammates.
“Good team WIN tonight,” Beverley tweeted. “DJones was the MVP.”
Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. saved what could have been a game-winning shot by Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden and instead turned it into a game-defining block. He also snagged the rebound after Tobias Harris’ miss on the same possession helping to secure a 109-105 victory.
Jones, who grew up less than 20 miles from Philadelphia in Chester, Pennsylvania, had not seen more than nine minutes in a game since a February 11 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His 16-plus minutes were his most since a win over the San Antonio Spurs on February 6.
“When I was a young kid in this league, one of my vets – Udonis Haslem – always told me, ‘Stay ready so you ain’t got to get ready’,” Jones told the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast crew during his walk-off interview on March 21. “So, that’s one thing I do: I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready. Whenever my number’s called I’m ready to play. I’m ready to go out there [and] give it 110%.”
Jones finished with 10 points, three rebounds, one steal, and that monster block. Beverley had just six points, four rebounds, and two assists. Most importantly, the bulls are 8-4 since he joined the team.
Patrick Beverley Speaks Out Against Questionable Officiating
Beverley is a man of the people on social media and his podcast, often sharing his thoughts on subjects ranging from serious issues like those Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has put himself through or questionable officiating, an issue for the Bulls this season.
That call was the second questionable decision in three games for Beverley on what could be considered less than egregious violations.
He was considered to be tied up by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley in the Bulls’ win on March 17 resulting in a jump ball. It also led to another sign of “support” for the call made on the floor.
“Good call,” he said in a quote tweet of a since-deleted video of the incident.
The Bulls have been the victims of several bad calls this season but they will surely say that they shouldn’t let it come down to the referees. Still, some bad calls or non-calls are worse than others and Beverley has been on the wrong side of that equation a lot lately. He has fouled out in three of the last four games.
He came close in the other with five personals against the Miami Heat on March 18 and had four personals in the game before that, a win over the Houston Rockets on March 11.
It has not cost the Bulls yet but could in a one-game, winner-take-all environment.
Bulls Securing Play-In Tournament Positioning
Beverley recently brushed off the Bulls’ record since his arrival saying they should have at least two more wins. As it stands they have a 2.5-game lead over the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards for the 10-seed as both rivals seem to be fading as the Bulls are finding their stride.
Indiana has lost two in a row while Washington is on a three-game skid.
This has given the Bulls – who boast the longest active winning streak in the Eastern Conference at three games – control of the 10-seed.
They are just one half-game back of the ninth-seeded Toronto Raptors and 1.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed. There is still plenty for the team to fight for down the stretch of this challenging season.