Patrick Beverley may be easing his way back, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be taking it easy. The Los Angeles Clippers‘ guard missed just under a month after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured left hand, and he made his return Tuesday in the Clips 105-100 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Beverley came off the bench and played 15 minutes, scoring eight points while hauling in one rebound and dishing out three assists. The nine-year NBA vet went 3-5 from the floor and 2-3 from beyond the arc, and he looked fierce on both sides of the ball, attacking the paint frequently while also getting a steal on defense. “In short stints, he was great,” Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard said after the game, via Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “He brought energy on the defensive end. He made his shots. If his shot wasn’t there, he attacked the paint.”
For his part, Beverley met with the media after the victory and he gave a pretty strong indication what fans and opponents can expect from him moving forward.
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Beverley: ‘Ain’t No Turnoff — I Play Hard As F—‘
He may have missed the Clippers’ last 12 games to allow his hand to heal, but don’t expect Beverley to put it in cruise control until he’s 100 percent again. “Ain’t no turnoff for me,” Beverley told the Los Angeles Times. “I play one way: I play hard as f— and that’s it.”
The veteran guard’s return is a good sign for the Clips, who have been struggling of late. L.A. had lost three in a row heading into its win over Toronto, and the Lakers are coming to town next.
“We got guys coming off injury. We’re trying to put it all together,” Beverley said about his team’s recent struggles. “We got guys in one unit and other guys in this unit, Kawhi second game back, my first game back, so we’re just trying to put it all together,” Beverly added.
Ty Lue: We’re Getting Guys Back at Just the Right Time
“Our biggest thing we’re excited about is just finally getting bodies back and getting guys healthy and use these last seven games and … last couple weeks to hit our stride, continue to build our habits and get back to playing the style of ball we were playing before guys got hurt,” Clippers head coach Ty Lue told the L.A. Times. on May 4. “I want to look at different lineups, different situations going forward, but these last seven games are important to try to get that.”
Indeed. To close out the season, the Clippers play the Lakers, Knicks, and Raptors again before three consecutive road games against the Hornets, Rockets and Thunder. It won’t be an easy closing stretch, particularly with playoff seeding on the line, but Lue is right. Getting guys back in the lineup will be key, and Beverley is chief among them.
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