For most of the first half of his 2K matchup against Hassan Whiteside, Patrick Beverley was eerily quiet.
Beverley got off to a somewhat slow start against Whiteside, falling behind by five points early. But his Milwaukee Bucks swiftly turned things around and staked out a 24-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, once he went up double digits, Beverley was ready to start talking.
“Up 10, now we can get busy,” Beverley said. And boy did he mean it.
Beverley’s Bucks ran away with the game in the second quarter, taking a 47-26 lead into halftime. He was never challenged in the second half en route to an 84-54 win over Whiteside. Beverley advances to the second round to play the winner of Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins.
Whiteside seemingly tried to egg on Beverley at the start of the game by picking the Lakers. He then told Beverley, “I thought you’d be picking up fullcourt, bro” 90 seconds into the game. When the two teams were tied at 14, he said he was about to go on a run, and that Beverley would soon be hearing “I Love L.A.”
He really should have known better than to poke the bear.
Beverley was fully animated once he was up double digits. He was standing up and clapping at his screen during timeouts, his Clippers workout shorts in full view. He was complimenting the ball movement of his video-game Bucks, regularly saying they were playing “a good brand of basketball”, and he called out rotations well into the fourth quarter of game his team won by 30.
He was fully locked in on the game plan to beat the Lakers, taking particular care to deny any lob passes to Anthony Davis since that is a personal point of pride for these Clippers. He joked about LeBron James’ waning athleticism, even in the context of a video game. Beverley also feasted on Whiteside’s specific weaknesses, including his tendency to bite on every pump fake, something that translates to the Portland center’s real-life defense.
There were four first-round matchups in the 2K tournament Friday, and three of them were won by the Milwaukee Bucks. Still, no individual player seemed to delight in his victory as much as Beverley. He boasted, “They had me in a cage for five years overseas,” so all he could do was play NBA 2K.
When Whiteside claimed that Giannis Antetokounmpo was a cheat code, Beverley was unwilling to deflect any credit.
Hassan Whiteside - “Giannis is a cheat code for real, I ain’t gon lie.”— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 4, 2020
Patrick Beverley - “It ain’t Giannis that’s playing, I’m controlling him. So I’m just a cheat code. You can just go ahead and call me a cheat code, I’ll take that.” pic.twitter.com/2We0gNeTtq
If any Clippers fans are disappointed that Beverley didn’t pick his own team to play in the tournament, rest assured that he is simply saving them for a later round. And with the way Beverley controlled his first matchup, he should plenty confident about advancing further.
Up next: Montrezl Harrell faces off against Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, April 5 at 3 p.m. PT.