Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley has been haunting point guards’ dreams since he came into the league. Beverley is a feisty, relentless, live-inside-your-jersey type of defender that most scorers would rather not have to face.
So when Beverley was tasked with guarding the league’s leading scorer in Russell Westbrook, he took the task to heart and made an already inefficient shooter that much more faulty and mistake-prone.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) April 26, 2017
According to Basketball-Reference, Westbrook shot a mere 38.8 percent from the floor through 30.4 field goals attempted per game in the series, but Beverley kept him to a feeble 25.9 percent shooting, not including plays in transition.
The Rockets realized just about what any other playoff team has about the Oklahoma City Thunder — they are indispensably reliant on Westbrook to carry the offensive load. If the Rockets were going to lose, it’d have to be the other guys who did the damage.
Beverley’s defense not only held Westbrook to a dismal percentage from the floor, but also forced passes, turnovers, and rendered him unable to get the ball in his sweet spots — the true sign of a polished perimeter defender.
While many will question his trash-talking ways, overly physical tactics, and hard fouls from time to time, Patrick Beverley is a lost art in a 6-foot-1 body, becoming Houston’s perimeter defensive executioner and wrapping this series in a bow for the Rockets, who now await the winner the 2-vs-7 Western Conference matchup.