Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has a very different estimation of Los Angeles Clippers resident pest Patrick Beverley than Russell Westbrook.
Following a 102-93 victory, Westbrook threw more logs of wood into the fire, telling reporters Beverley isn’t the lockdown defender he claims to be:
“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense,” said Westbrook, pointing to teammate James Harden’s 47 points, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “He don’t guard nobody, man. It’s just running around, doing nothing. … All that commotion to get 47.”
Harden gave Beverley his due respect, but D’Antoni did more than that by pointing to the moment Beverley fouled out (with 1:31 remaining in regulation) as a crucial one in the game:
“Big, big. At least James could take the coat off of him,” said D’Antoni. “He was bugging the hell out of him. James was swatting, like, ‘Get out of here.’ Patrick’s one of my favorite players. He’s all in it for the right reasons. He’s what you want on your team. If you want to win, you get guys like that.”
D’Antoni went a step further, saying Beverley “can tick you off,” but deserves respect:
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“He’s earned every cent they give him, and I love him,” D’Antoni said of Beverley, who re-signed with the Clippers in July with a three-year, $40 million deal. “He plays hard.”
Westbrook’s comment came off in poor taste, considering he had to make use of his teammate’s success to trash talk his longtime rival. The new Rockets star mustered only 17 points, two rebounds, and two assists in 30 minutes, shooting a disappointing 6-of-20 from the field — many of those coming while matching up against Beverley.
Russell Westbrook is clearly all on his own thinking that Beverley can’t defend after he had his worst shooting line of the season against him and the Clippers.