Patrick Beverley has missed the last five Clippers’ games (all losses) due to a sore right knee. The good news: he is expected to return tomorrow for the Clippers’ game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Beverley will return to his duty as the team’s starting point guard, presumably pushing Austin Rivers to shooting guard and Sindarius Thornwell to the bench. Beverley is only averaging 3 assists per game, but he looks to pass the ball a bit more than Austin or Thornwell, and it doesn’t stick to him as much. However, he brings two huge elements to the Clippers that they have been sorely missing in recent weeks: defense and three-point shooting. The paint has been clogged for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with both Thornwell and Wes Johnson starting, and Beverley’s 40% shooting from long distance should clear things up a bit. The Clippers have also given up over 100 points in each of the games Beverley has missed, and 110+ points in three of them. His relentless tenacity at the point of attack, and his constant communication, should be a huge boost to the Clippers’ flagging defense.
Beverley’s minutes might be a bit limited in his first few games back, so it’s possible that Jawun Evans still gets a couple minutes, but I wouldn’t expect more than that for him. Thornwell, Austin, and Lou Williams will lose minutes as well, though Lou is playing at such a high level it will be tough for Doc to curtail his playing time.
The Clippers desperately need help to stem their eight game losing streak, and Beverley, who was probably their 2nd best player through the first couple weeks of the season, should be a massive help.