Rockets’ Russell Westbrook rips Patrick Beverley, claims he doesn’t play any defense
The fiery duel between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers came to an end, and it was the Rockets who came out on top. Thanks to James Harden’s dominance and Russell Westbrook’s support, Houston managed to tame a competitive Clippers team that had Kawhi Leonard finish with a stat line of 26-12-7. However, Westbrook didn’t just bask in his team’s triumph over the league’s biggest favorites to win the NBA title this season. He also took the time to kick Patrick Beverley down a couple of notches.
He claimed that the driven point guard doesn’t play any defense at all, pointing to Harden’s 47-point explosion as Exhibit A of his argument.
Russell Westbrook: “Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense. He don’t guard nobody, man. He just running around, doing nothing.” Made sure to note that James Harden scored 47 tonight.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 14, 2019
That’s quite a hot take from Westbrook to make on a guard a lot of players regard as extremely pesky to play against. It is true that Harden was doing whatever he wants against a team touted to be one of the league’s best defensive outfits. However, it’s more of a testament to Harden’s unadulterated abilities as a scorer rather than it being Beverley’s fault inability to defend anyone of worth in the league.
Moreover, the stat sheet points to Beverley as a very effective perimeter deterrent. Beverley is 18th in the Defensive Box Plus/Minus rankings at 3.3 Only Ben Simmons and Dejounte Murray are the backcourt players ranked higher than him in that regard. He’s also 16th in the Defensive Win Shares column with his 0.5 while averaging 1.6 steals and 0.5 blocks a night.
Beverley will not take to Westbrook’s words kindly and will come at him with gusto the next time they meet.