During the upcoming NBA season, I will be writing a weekly report on the Houston Rockets – also known as the most interesting team in basketball. With a who gives a shit defensive philosophy and Mike D’Antoni as a head coach, the apocalypse of professional basketball as we know it is near. The soap opera begins with a preview of each player.

ACT I: Patrick Beverley

Agitation is a skill in the NBA. Reggie Miller had it. The goat Michael Jordan definitely had it. And, yet again, Patrick Beverley showed last year that he has it.

Among players who Beverley agitates: Steph Curry, Jrue Holiday, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook (A LOT!!!!), etc.

It’s that grind it out, elbow you in the throat, maybe even tear your meniscus attitude that got Patrick Beverley in the league, so why the fuck would he stop now?

The knock on Beverley is he doesn’t provide much on the offensive end. My rebuttal: It’s the fucking Rockets, why would you need another shot-happy, ball dominant player?

Also, the narrative doesn’t exactly fit. Last year, the 28-year-old point guard shot a career-best 40 percent from beyond the arc. That’s five percent better than league average and the same conversion rate as white demi-God Kyle Korver. Beverley’s 13.02 player efficiency rating (PER) is by no means elite, however, it ranks him higher than Harrison Barnes, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both Morris brothers and Joe Johnson. Oh yeah, and he’s in the second year of a bargain 4 year/ $25 million deal.

His greatest asset comes on defense, though. Beverley is a fierce on-ball defender tasked with guarding some of the league’s best night in and night out. Given that the two-guard, cough cough Harden, couldn’t cover a piece of rye toast, Beverley’s on-ball value is clutch for Houston. Just watch this video and laugh at Jrue Holiday.

Off the ball, Beverley is even better. His awareness sets him apart from other point guards in the league, and is unique to a team who gets so lost on the perimeter that Doug McDermott would instantly become their second best defender. Beverley’s ability to fight through screens saves Harden and once-good, now-bad defender Trevor Ariza from switching on to quicker players. Watch the Rockets without Beverley and you’ll immediately start shouting “ball, you, man” like you’re Joe Claffy at a 7th grade SJC game.

This year, Beverley’s minutes will likely go down because pace-humping, proven-awful head coach Mike D’Antoni takes over the reigns. In all likelihood, Beverley will be the only one not leaking out on fast breaks, which will confuse D’Antoni because he’s used to coaching a Knicks and Lakers team who had almost negative guard rebounding.

Let’s hope, for fun’s sake and because I want to watch him brawl with Westbrook again, that D’Antoni tames his Nash boner and realizes that another type of point guard actually exists!

BEST PAT BEVERLEY VIDEOS:

Gotta love when the girl (who actually balls hard) asks, “can we just shoot jumpers?”

“No.”

A. One of the smoothest songs ever heard on a highlight tape

B. Dude just tore up Chicago

C. Why the hell did they include how he started to fall behind as the ending clip in this tape?

That’s one way to stop the Warriors.

NEXT UP: Pablo Prigioni

 

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