During Houston’s comeback over Portland, the action in the backcourt was non-stop as Patrick Beverley refused to give ground to Portland’s all-star Damian Lillard. Beverley is a defensive agitator of the highest order; a Bruce Bowen for the digital age that laps up an opponent’s frustration and uses it to dig even deeper on the defensive end. After Lillard caught Beverley with an elbow to his mask-encased noggin in overtime, Lillard was assessed his sixth foul. After the game, Dame downplayed their battle while acknowledging Beverley was an irritant who might be embellishing the contact a bit.
Below is Lillard’s sixth foul. While it looks like Beverley sold the hit a tad, Lillard can clearly be seen hitting him with his off hand on the drive.
Before Lillard fouled out, the two point guards got entangled in the fourth quarter, and Beverly even removed his mask â€” a la LeBron â€” in case things got even feistier. But nothing happened and play resumed.
After the game, Lillard spoke with CSNNW.com about his back-and-forth with Beverley.
“It’s irritating, but I was locked into the game to be one hundred percent honest with you. It’s irritating that he’s doing all that little stuff like flopping, tying you up and all that for the whole game. But I don’t really get caught up in that. It’s whatever.”
When Beverley was asked about Lillard’s comments, he iterated that his only desire was to win.
“If he thinks I’m flopping, that’s on him, not me. We won. That’s all I care about.
“It’s basketball,” Beverley continued. “That’s how basketball is. It’s not going to be pretty all the time.”
Ironically, Lillard said, “That’s not basketball,” about Beverley’s gesticulations in the fourth and throughout the game.
Personally, we love how hard Beverley takes his defensive assignments, even while acknowledging how vexing Beverley’s in-your-face D can be. But that is part of basketball, and we can’t pretty much guarantee, the hyper-competitive Lillard will be ready next time.
Do you like how Beverley plays defense, or is he taking away from teh game?
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