When you think of the Houston Rockets, the first things to come to mind are their ability to put up points (107.7 points per game, secnd in the NBA), James Harden‘s emergence, and their charismatic big man, Dwight Howard. Even the versatile role of Chandler Parsons brings about several highlights, and we get an occasional glimpse of “Lin-sanity” from Jeremy Lin. The one guy who many fans in Houston also adore, is the journeyman point guard, Patrick Beverley.
Standing just over six feet tall, his stature pales in comparison to the effort and energy that he provides Houston on a nightly basis. The 25-year-old hails from the city of Chicago, embodying grit and toughness similar to other Illinois counterparts, such as Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, and Tony Allen. One of the greater traits that he shares with these players is the tenacity that he brings on the defensive end on the court, which often gets misconstrued as dirty play.
Beverley’s career has definitely been one of the more interesting paths in the NBA. He has played in Ukraine, Greece, and Russia during his five-year professional career. The 2012-2013 season was when he signed a multi-year deal with the Rockets, and was assigned to the Rockets’ Development League affiliate (Rio Grande Valley Vipers). That season marked his first entrance into an NBA starting lineup during the 2013 Western Conference playoffs. It was also the time that Beverley became infamous for his aggressive play, ultimately injuring the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. The incident did nothing to help his reputation.
Oddly enough, it is the same style of play that makes Beverley and the Houston Rockets a good team. When he locks in defensively, they are one of the better squads in the league. Not many point guards, especially at his size, can play their opposition the way that Beverley does. His quick hands and lateral movement make for a perfect ball-hawk in the half-court. If he isn’t picking his man up there, count on Beverley to be scrambling for loose balls and breaking up fastbreaks.
Beverley’s performances earned him a selection to the NBA’s All-Defense Second Team. He was the second D-League alum to be selected for the honor, along with Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics. The Rockets can build on becoming a stronger on defense with Beverley in the backcourt and Dwight Howard in the post. Houston was only 23rd in the league, allowing 103.1 points per game. I
t’s going to definitely take a concerted team effort to improve, and Beverley will have to hope that his efforts are contagious throughout the Rockets’ roster. He will be needed when they look to make it out of a conference littered with special point guards including Chris Paul, Steph Curry, and Tony Parker. Houston will have to hold Beverley to that same class, if they want to win a third franchise championship.