Patrick Beverley has faced a lot of amazing point guards over the years. But amid a slew of talented and dominant players, he named Portland's Damian Lillard as his toughest competition.
Here's what he said in a chat with JJ Redick on his podcast:
“I say Dame [Lillard] … I give it to him. Dame is one of the reasons why I went into the weight room and I told my guys, ‘Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don’t feel like I’m fast. I can’t keep up with the speed right now,’ the Clippers vet said, via The Ringer’s Instagram.
“And so we worked on a whole bunch … prime example last year, iso play game-winner, I get a stop on him. All that hard work for that one play.”
Though it might seem crazy that he didn't name Westbrook (a notorious rival of his), it shouldn't be all that surprising that he picked Dame. Despite his team's disappointing record, the superstar guard has been on a tear all season long, averaging 28.9 points, 7.8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds on 45% shooting.
It is him who has kept his team relevant in the playoff chase and him who was part of the MVP conversation all year long.
It remains to be seen how he and his team will fare this postseason, but if he continues his current pace, it won't be pretty for the rest of the league. Mr. Beverley seems to understand this more than anyone.