Highlights: Rockets take down Magic
With five minutes left of the third quarter in a game that doesn’t mean a whole heckuva lot, Patrick Beverley saw a loose ball and went after it, nearly falling into the paying customers sitting courtside.
Beverley plays hard. All the time. No matter what.
Have the coaches ever asked him to tone it down, even in the preseason?
“Never. No,” he said following Wednesday night’s 108-104 win. He scored 13 points and gathered nine rebounds in 26:27.
If they did ask him to tone it down, could he?
“No,” he said, shaking his head. “I think I asked Coach (Kevin) McHale ‘do you want me to tone it down a little bit?' when we were in the playoffs and he told me if I tone it down, I’m gonna be back in Russia. I ain’t trying to go back there.”
He plays hard and the NBA season is a long one. The regular season doesn’t end until mid-April and these Rockets plan on playing much longer than that.
Can Beverley hold up playing the way he plays?
“Yeah,” he answered. “Most important is getting your rest and eating right. But for the most part, I eat fairly well. I get a lot of rest. My teammates depend on me to provide a lot of energy, so I’m going to do what it takes on and off the court to be an energy spark guy.”
Beverley, 25, signed with the Rockets late last December. He came to the Rockets from Spartak St. Petersburg in Russia and hasn’t left since. He’s proven to be, at the very least, a competent backup point guard and is challenging Jeremy Lin for the starting position.
“It doesn’t matter (who starts at point guard),” Dwight Howard said. “I don’t want those guys to get caught up in who’s going to start, who’s going to play most of the minutes. I think they both have to understand that they’re big pieces to the puzzle and we’re going to need both of those guys to win. We can’t allow anybody from the outside to take away from their focus and what we’re trying to do as a team.”
Lin was ill for Wednesday’s game, so Beverley got the start and played extended minutes. And he played the the way Rockets fans have become accustomed to seeing him play: hard, aggressive and unrelenting.
The most impressive stat from Beverley’s Wednesday night was his rebounding. He had nine overall and six on offense.
”That’s it?” he asked when told he had six offensive boards. Head coach Kevin McHale said he normally wouldn’t want to see his point guard fighting for offensive rebounds, but Beverley is different.
“Patrick has a great nose for the ball,” McHale said.
Beverley is making a strong case to become the starting point guard for this 2013 Rockets team, which would send Lin to the bench. But Beverley claims that isn’t what he cares about.
“Not important at all,” Beverley said. “We have a phenomenal basketball team. If you look at our three point guards, all of us, me, (Aaron Brooks) or Lin have started somewhere. We’re talented. For me, it’s not about a starting job at all. For me, the overall picture is about winning basketball games.”