Patrick Beverley admits Damian Lillard is his toughest challenge
Los Angeles Clippers veteran guard Patrick Beverley is known as one of the most intimidating perimeter defenders in the game. Despite his reputation though, Beverley opened up about the player he has had trouble defending in the NBA.
Speaking with New Orleans Pelicans sharpshooter JJ Redick on his podcast, Beverley said Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard is the toughest player to guard for him. In fact, Dame pushed Pat Bev to work on his body even more.
“I say Dame [Lillard] … I give it to him. Dame is one of the reasons why I went into the weight room and I told my guys, ‘Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don’t feel like I’m fast. I can’t keep up with the speed right now,’ the Clippers vet said, via The Ringer’s Instagram.
“And so we worked on a whole bunch … prime example last year, iso play game-winner, I get a stop on him. All that hard work for that one play.”
Patrick Beverley has spent the last two-plus seasons with the Clippers after five years with the Houston Rockets. In his NBA career, Beverley has faced off with Damian Lillard in the postseason once — in 2014 with the Rockets.
However, due to the nature of the Western Conference, Beverley has had to go head-to-head with Lillard and the Blazers on multiple occasions in the regular season.
Lillard, for his part, has turned into a lethal scorer, torching opposing teams in his routine. During the 2019-20 season, which was paused in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lillard was averaging a career-best 28.9 points per game while also leading the league in minutes per contest.
For Beverley, an athlete who prides himself on defense, the best opponents really make you work for it.