Patrick Beverley Lays Down Blunt Challenge for Bulls’ Big 3 Ahead of Play-In

Patrick Beverley

Getty Patrick Beverley and DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls are set to appear in the play-in tournament.

The Chicago Bulls are set to take on the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament on April 12, with the winner earning the chance to move on to play for the eighth and final seed in the East. The loser will be done for the year.

The Bulls finished a disappointing 2022-23 season with a 40-42 record, but they made the play-in on the strength of their 14-9 record after the All-Star break. Chicago’s play to close out the regular season was boosted by the addition of veteran guard Patrick Beverley, whose tenacious defense and desire to make the entire roster better made an obvious difference.

Heading into their play-in matchup, Beverley says he expects the Bulls’ trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević to earn their hefty paychecks in games like this one.

Pat Bev on Bulls’ Big 3: They Get Paid to Produce in These Moments

When Pat Bev was asked about the Bulls’ first-ever play-in appearance, he got candid about what he expects from the Big 3, whose collective salaries take up over $86 million of the team’s salary cap this season.

“That’s where you make your money,” Beverley said about the postseason, via Mike McGraw of The Daily Herald. “That’s why you pay them the big bucks, to come out and represent. The teams I’ve been on in the past, max guys, they’ve done so and I don’t expect anything different from this group.”

The trio of LaVine ($37.1 million), DeRozan ($27.3 million) and Vooch ($22 million) have been the team’s three top scorers this year, with LaVine and DeRozan both netting over 24 points a game and Vučević averaging a double-double (17.6 points, 11.0 rebounds).

When told what Pat Bev said, LaVine was not surprised. “Sounds like a Pat response,” LaVine told the Daily Herald. “It’s nothing for me to be told or I have to hear. We understand that we have to go out there, regardless of who you are or how you play, go out there and win the game.”

Bulls Have a Chance to End Up & Down Season on a High Note With Playoff Run

Chicago never won more than three games in a row this season, but it did have losing streaks of six and four games, the latter of which happened twice. But if the Bulls can beat the Raptors and take out the winner of the Miami Heat – Atlanta Hawks matchup and follow that up with a strong performance in the playoffs, all could be forgiven.

“It was just kind of back and forth throughout the whole season,” Vučević said, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “But it is what it is at this moment. And we just have to focus on what’s ahead and try to make the best out of it. Hopefully, we can win two games in the Play-in and get to the playoffs. It won’t be easy obviously. But I think we have what it takes. I think also going through everything that we went through this year has made us closer, tougher. Hopefully, we can use that as a good thing going into this Play-In because there’ll definitely be adversity when we get there.”

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