Beverley making impression early in training camp

Beverley making impression early in training camp
October 1, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Rockets guard Patrick Beverley has been a good story for the Rockets ever since they signed him in early January.

His energy, hustle and heart helped him quickly become a fan-favorite and eventually earned him more minutes as a valuable contributor off the bench.

And just four days into training camp, he’s continuing to earn the respect of his coaches and teammates.

“Patrick has been as good as anybody out here,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “He and James defensively have been phenomenal. He’s played very well. He kind of took up where he left off last year – just making plays.”

“He looks good,” Rockets center Dwight Howard said. “He’s shooting the ball well, and he’s doing a great job of talking on the defense. A lot of times you say defense starts with bigs in the paint, but it’s great when you have the guards talking out front. They’re energetic and they’re the first line of defense, so it starts with them.”

But even after the praise, Beverley’s mindset is never one of comfort.

“Not at all,” he said. “For anybody knows me, I like to go out there and prove myself as best as I can – all of that is under my control. I just need to go out there and compete to the best of my ability and let the cards fall where they fall. Right now it’s not about me being the backup or a starter, it’s just about us getting better as a team and trying to reach one goal, and that’s to win an NBA championship.”

A moment Beverley is perhaps most known for last season was in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Beverley tried to steal the ball from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and collided with his right knee. The three-time All-Star was injured on that play and had to undergo surgery for a torn lateral meniscus. Beverley said he was just trying to make a play and wasn't trying to hurt Westbrook, who missed the rest of the playoffs. On Tuesday, the Thunder announced Westbrook will miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the day. The team said he needed the procedure after experiencing swelling in the same knee that was injured in the playoffs.

“He’s a great athlete,” Beverley said. “I know he has the best doctors, so I think he’s going to be fine.”