So Scott Machado ends up getting cut to make way for a man named Patrick Beverley. Now, I'll be honest, unlike James Anderson, I had no clue who he was. It seems like people are already warming up to this guy, and by a first impression basis, I like him as well. So let's pull out the crack pipe, and find out just who Patrick Beverley is in this edition of: Who dat be? (The title was edited out last time but I'm sticking with it.)
Patrick Beverley at 24 years old, to say the least is not your typical NBA prospect. Playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, he spent two years posting up decent numbers as an undersized shooting guard.
The numbers don't lie. He rebounds well for a point guard, and a career 38.2% from the arc is nothing to scoff at. As a growing prospect, and a recipient of the SEC Freshman of the Year award, it seemed like he had a lot to build off of. Things took a turbulent turn during his sophomore year, as he struggled disciplinary actions and was caught in an academic scandal.
"Someone from Arkansas was doing papers, was doing me and some of my teammates' papers," he said. "Basically, instead of ratting my team out, I just said it was just me. I was forced to have a year of ineligibility." This would eventually lead to him venturing overseas, signing with Dnipro-Ukraine for the 2008-09 season.
He upped his scoring average while simultaneous increasing his FG%. Interesting tidbit: he played in Ukranian All Star Game, competed in the Slam Dunk Contest and won. Nothing says athleticism like a polished Slam Dunk Contest trophy, regardless of its language.
After spending a year in Ukraine, he was selected 42nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Although he opted to say in Europe, where he signed with the Greek Basket League, playing for the Olympiacos Piraeus. After winning the Greek Cup and losing in the finals, he signed with the Spartak St. Petersburg, where he eventually won the 2nd tier Eurocup's MVP award.
Standing at 6' 0.25" with an impressive wingspan of 6' 6.5", he possesses nice tools that have earned him an intensive defensive presence on the perimeter. He uses his length well to keep guards from penetrating, and shows great positioning on help defense. Combined with great lateral quickness, he can stay in front of his man and prevent separation, while simultaneously pestering him with his long arms. Also, with a 37" vertical, he has nice explosive timing to contest shots. It also aids in his ability to swallow up rebounds and convert 64.4% of his offensive boards into points.
As previously mentioned, he's a shooting guard stuck in a point guard's body. If there's a critique that lingered through out his collegiate career, it was that if he wanted to make it in the NBA, he'd have to learn the duties of a point guard. Fortunately enough, the detour in Ukraine, seemed to be a pit stop of revelation, as it served as a great way to gather experience to work on his point guard skills.
His ability to score, should not be taken lightly. He possesses a nice shooting stroke, with an explosive first step to get into the paint. He can pull up off the dribble, with a tendency to knock down shots from around 15 feet. He has a smooth floater down the lane, that our resident friendly neighborhood Jeremy Lin should look to pick up. He can create his own shot and draws a lot of contact when driving towards the hoop. He can also be a perimeter threat as well, knocking down shots at 39% a clip. If he can transition this to the NBA remains to be seen though.
While he is very aggressive, it can be a bad thing, sometimes leading him to force shots. His ability to create his own shots, can and will narrow his court vision, which allows defenses to crowd him easily. Not the strongest, and will need to strengthen up to play against the bigger NBA competition. His shooting is still streaky at best and as much contact as he draws, does not convert on free throws often as he should. Even with improved court vision,his play making leaves much to be desired.
An interesting player comparison made, would be Daniel Gibson, a talented shooter as an undersized shooting guard. Although, Beverley brings much more to the table with higher athleticism, knack for rebounding, and tenacity on defense.
Overall, he seems like another great addition to our bench. He can still improve but with what he already brings to the table. A nice shooting stroke and pesky defensive presence, he can serve as a reliable punch off the bench and serve as a defensive anchor to help maintain the lead. He also brings experience and emotional maturity, to a young growing squad whose bound to go through the highs and lows of basketball. His locker room presence should definitely be a positive influence. This can only help to mature our young group of guys down the stretch. Let's go get em Beverley, I'll be rooting for you too.