After missing game 2 of the first round with a calf strain, Patrick Beverley will be a game-time decision for game 3 on Friday night. “We haven’t practiced yet, but I don’t anticipate him participating in practice,” head coach Doc Rivers said on Thursday.
Beverley has always been a crucial piece for the Clippers — the team is 11-11 without him this season — and his absence was noticed on Wednesday night. In game 1, Beverley played only 20 minutes. He had eight points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist. Although he usually doesn’t light it up in the box score, Beverley’s presence in the lineup makes the Clippers such a better team.
Unable to stop Boban
A name familiar to Clippers fans, Boban Marjanovic was a one-man wrecking crew in his limited minutes last night. In only 10 minutes, Boban had 13 points and nine rebounds. LA simply had no answer for him.
“You’ve just got to know how to attack him on both ends,” Rivers said when asked how to stop Marjanovic. “But if you’re going to let him catch it deep, there ain’t much you’re going to do because you’re not going to grow — once he gets it, you’re shorter than him, it’s guaranteed.
“He is a match-up. We used him the same way. When he goes well, you keep him in. When he doesn’t, you take him out. It goes both ways with him. It really does. He’s just a good guy. Whenever a guy, a team favorite, plays well, everybody gets excited for him. But you see that on every team. There’s certain guys, [Landry Shamet] is one of those guys on our team. When he’s making shots, playing well, you know, everybody enjoys it because they see — like in our case with Sham — they see how hard he works, how young he is, how much he wants it, and when good things happen for him, it kind of lifts the entire team.”
Montrezl Harrell still finding his groove
After missing the last month, Montrezl Harrell is still getting accustomed to the games in the bubble. Through the first two games, Harrell has scored only 16 points with four rebounds. After playing 15 minutes in game 1, he played 22 minutes last night. As mentioned, it’s been a long time since Harrell played in a meaningful game, but it’s obvious he’s still trying to get caught up.
“His rhythm is not great, his conditioning is not great,” Rivers said. “It’s just a tough place to try to integrate a guy. I don’t know who said it, but they’re right. It’s not that Trezz has been off a month, it’s he hasn’t played basketball in five months when you think about it. I think we keep saying a month. Well, he never played in any of these games, so he’s been off five months of real basketball. You know, I don’t know. It’s a tough one for us, I can tell you that. We need him. But it’s tough to throw him in in a competition. I feel for him. I just — life gets involved sometimes, and you’ve just got to make the best of it.”
Harrell has been arguably one of the most valuable pieces on the Clippers this season. If they have any hopes of defeating the Mavericks, they’re desperately going to need Harrell to find his step soon.