Last night your Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons 128-121 at Crypto.com Arena, thanks in large part to the exploits of Anthony Davis, who hit a masterful double-double with 38 points and 16 rebounds.
Four perimeter players scored in double figures (Lonnie Walker IV, Austin Reaves, Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn), but the LA starting point guard was not among them.
Patrick Beverley, currently from an expiring $13 million contract, put in another stunning offensive performance and his defensive reputation so far preceded him that head coach Darvin Ham replaced the 6’1″ veteran with the 6’7″ Sniper Bojan Bogdanovic transferred. It didn’t seem to have much of a negative impact on Bogdanovic’s night. In 35:05 he had 20 points on 7-of-15 shots from the floor and 6-of-7 shots from the free-throw line. He also pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists.
Down the floor, Beverly was having a typically unproductive night. He scored four points on 1-of-3 shooting from the floor (all threes) and 1-of-2 shooting from the charity strip, had more turnovers (three) than assists (two), pulled down three rebounds and grabbed one block . He registered a -2 plus-minus, just behind Dennis Schröder, the second worst such number at the club.
Lakers fans let it loose on Twitter during and immediately after the loss.
After Los Angeles was dealt Beverley in the offseason, several pundits (including myself) thought the former three-time All-Defensive Teamer could be a perfect 3-and-D complement for the Lakers. We were wrong.
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Several Lakers Twitter fans questioned Ham’s decision to remain in the starting lineup with Beverley:
This wasn’t just a tweet expressing such a feeling last night:
Others argued that Beverley shouldn’t just be removed from the starting line-up, but perhaps from Ham’s entire rotation:
The point guard’s reputation as a pest who annoys opponents but endears himself to his own teammates and fans may be fading in his NBA stinginess.
Other fans didn’t pull punches in their assessment of his current skills.
Beverley has always been a very engaged and aggressive defender, a nuisance not only to opposing players but to any referee he disagrees with.
During the season, Beverley averaged 4.6 points (on abysmal .281/.243/.824 splits), 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and one block. When small point guards hit their 30s, their production can drop at any time. That may have happened to Beverly this season.