After Clippers’ starting point guard Patrick Beverley left the team’s Tuesday afternoon seeding game against the Phoenix Suns with a sore left calf, he did not return to action, playing only eight minutes as the Clippers trailed most of the game and ultimately lost at the buzzer.
When asked about Beverley’s status after the game, Rivers gave a vague answer, saying that he did not believe the guard’s injury was bad, but that the team would be careful with him moving forward:
Caution is the right move with Beverley, who is the team’s third-most important player and the heart and soul of the team who sets the tone with his intense point of attack defense.
Beverley has struggled with nagging injuries throughout his career, playing 389 games over the last seven seasons for an average of just 56 games a year. He was on a minutes restriction in the Clippers’ first two bubble games, playing just 16 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers and 18 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pat miss a game or to and just focus on his individual wellness and conditioning with the Clippers training staff. While the Clippers aren’t quite locked in to the 2nd seed yet, Beverley’s health matters far more than the difference between the 2 and 3 seed.
In his absence, expect Reggie Jackson to start at point guard, as he did when Beverley was out in the Orlando scrimmages and on a minutes restriction vs the Lakers. While Jackson struggled in those games, the return of Lou Williams to the Clippers lineup should alleviate the pressure on Reggie to be the sole ball-handler. Williams is the Clippers’ leader in assists per game from a bench role and in limited minutes, partnership between Williams and Jackson has been fruitful for both.
That duo should be fine to handle the Clippers’ seeding games until Pat is fully ready to re-enter the lineup. Stay tuned to 213Hoops for any future Patrick Beverley injury update.
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