Lakers Patrick Beverley Sounds Off on Marcus Smart

Patrick Beverley, Boston Celtics

Getty Patrick Beverley, Boston Celtics

Patrick Beverley is the man tasked with improving the Los Angeles Lakers perimeter defense this season, along with helping raise the intensity level of the locker room.

In fairness, we saw Beverley’s impact firsthand last season, as his presence helped transform a porous Minnesota Timberwolves defense into a respectable entity across the league – thus helping the franchise reach the NBA playoffs.

However, despite Beverley’s impact last season, he was overlooked throughout the Defensive Player of the Year discussion and had to watch fellow guard, Marcus Smart, become the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in 1996.

“Part of me was p***** the f*** off, Dray. I ain’t gonna lie, bro. I’d be a fool not to sit—from a competitor’s standpoint, I’d be a cap sitting on here telling you I wasn’t p***** off when that happened. Not from like, I don’t want him to get it, from like, ‘Damn, I’m happy a guard got it, but damn, I’ve been sitting right here. I’ve been sitting right here for years.’ But I respect it. A guard got it. So now, what do I have to do now? Do I have to block more shots,” Beverley said on an October 7 appearance on the Draymond Green Show Podcast.

In what would have been another blow to Beverley – Smart won the award following his first full season as the Boston Celtics‘ starting point guard, even though Beverley has been a starter on several teams, and has always earned rave reviews for his defensive ability, intensity, and on-court leadership.

Still, for Lakers fans, they should be encouraged that Beverley feels a type of way over Smart’s award because that means they’re going to get the best version of Beverley, which is precisely what the team needs right now.

Beverley Continues to Support Russell Westbrook

On October 6, Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless released a Tweet that questioned Russell Westbrook’s relationship with the Lakers star players, as a video had emerged showing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Beverley sitting together during a pre-season game, with Westbrook sitting away from the trio.

However, Beverley was quick to fire back at Bayless in what would seem like support for his beleaguered teammate, “No it doesn’t. Stop searching skip. Sheesh,” Beverley Tweeted in response.

Beverley is a recent addition to the Lakers roster, having joined the team earlier this summer – and while his fit alongside the team’s star trio is less than ideal, the hope is that his intensity and lock-down perimeter defense can help steady a ship that has been slowly sinking over the last two years.

 Beverley Could Play Unfamiliar Role This Season

With Los Angeles’ starting guard rotation all but locked in, Beverley made need to accept a new role if he wishes to run with the Lakers starting five – one that could see him guarding, and attacking, wings to begin the season.

According to a September 18 report by NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Lakers are considering playing Beverley as a small forward to begin the season, so that they can pair him alongside their big three.

“With Westbrook poised to remain a Laker when new coach Darvin Ham opens his first training camp as L.A.’s new coach, sources say Beverley is regarded internally by the club as a 3-and-D wing and not as a point guard at this stage of his career. The Lakers, in other words, see Westbrook and Schröder as their point guards as of Sept. 18 … and the likes of Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker IV as 2s and 3s,” Stein wrote.

At six-foot-one, Beverley would be incredibly undersized – but maybe that’s the position he needs to play if he wishes to be the next ‘guard’ to win Defensive Player of the Year honors – and if it also helps the Lakers get back to winning consistently, it’s likely a role Beverley will relish playing.

Read More