Patrick Beverley has turned into the little engine that could â€” antagonize Rockets opponents enough to help them into the Conference Finals or beyond this year. After getting in Damian Lillard‘s mug the other night before trading off-the-court barbs, he resumed a roiling rivalry with Russell Westbrook on Tuesday night during OKC’s 106-98 win. One first-quarter moment eerily mimicked the lunge Beverley made for the ball during the playoffs last spring, which inadvertently led to the tear in Westbrook’s meniscus.
Here’s the play in question, and you can see Russ does not take Beverley’s thrust for the ball very well (also, check out KD’s hysterical late push on Parsons well after the altercation has run its course):
If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the play from game 2 last year where Beverley and Westbrook’s knees collide on almost the exact same late lunge by Beverley:
But the exchange before the TO Tuesday night wasn’t the end of the two point guards getting snippy with one another. The next altercation came only about a minute later.
Beverley poked the ball away from Russ as he was going between his legs near mid-court. After Russ chased the ball down, Beverley reached over him in an attempt to get the jump ball, and they exchanged a brief not-so-friendly scuffle for the rock before Russ started griping to the refs.
That second one wasn’t anything but Beverley fleecing Russ, but that first showdown was the annoying pest Patrick who’s become the most secretly loathed opponent among the NBA’s starting point guards.
A possible Rockets-Thunder playoff series is gonna be awesome, but we hope Beverley never lies down on the scorers table at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
As for Russ, Beverley’s D ain’t that physical:
Westbrook on if this was one of the most physical games of the season: "No. Heck no."
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 12, 2014
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.