First and foremost, I hope you all had a good Memorial Day and didn't lose sight of the purpose of the federal holiday.
The starting line up has been reviewed with little debate. Now we'll move on to the bench where there is sure to be some discussion. We'll start with the "head" of the bench in Patrick Beverley. Initially he was the 2009-second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers and he never broke into an NBA Roster until this season. The closest Bev got was the training camp roster of the Miami Heat in 2010. His last experience before coming to Houston was playing for Spartak in St. Petersburg.
After Beverley had the opportunity to get on the floor for Houston the fan base quickly began falling in love. He played with a reckless attitude and confidence that the point guard position was lacking through most of the season. His offense had attitude, his defense was always energetic, and you knew that he left 100% out on the court. There's no reference point for Patrick Beverley so the interesting part of his game will come next year when we see how he develops further in his role as the back up point guard. Let's have fun with this first look at a backup. This is not a debate on whether or not Beverley should be the starter, this is a look solely at what he did this season.
I want to make this clear, as sometimes there are questions as to what criteria I use. I look at the player in their role and whether or not they excelled in a capacity that was expected of them. For example, if they have a baseline that gets factored into it (Increases in usage and efficiency bode well for a player, increases in usage and slippage in overall rates hurts them). When a player has glaring negatives they are weighed heavily whereas if the player has minimized their weaknesses they have earned a lesser weight to those grades.
Patrick averaged 5.6 points/2.7 rebounds/2.9 assists/and 1 steal a game. Bev did all this playing 17.4 minutes per game in his first NBA Season.
Behind those numbers we see Beverley shooting at a true shooting percentage of 55% with a Player Efficiency Rating of 15.4. Beverley's defensive rating was 105 (Points allowed per 100 possessions). Overall Bev contributed 2.2 wins on the season with a win share per 48 of .148. Beverley's role required he play aspect of shooting guard and ball handler depending on who he was on the floor with. This resulted in a usage of 15.4% showing varying involvement in his minutes on the court. Consequently Beverley produced a turnover rate of 24% (Assisted on 24% of possessions he had the opportunity to do so).
If Beverley can expand on the numbers he would build a solid case to demand more minutes. Right now the debate isn't whether or not he should be starting but whether or not he should be finishing the game. If you're a Rockets fan and you're not aware of why this debate is wholly relevant I would ask you to indulge some history because this organization has been through this before.
Energy. With all bench guys if energy is the biggest notable you're either not that good at anything else or you're perfectly suited for your role. Beverley occupies the latter position there. He's come in to a Rockets team that would stagnate and needed a spark and he sparked the team. He became the heart of the second unit. When he stepped on the floor you knew they were going to run, he was going to attack, and that he wasn't going to pick up his dribble going through the lane. He attacked offensive players (Russel Westbrook would argue viciously), he didn't let defenders key in on him and kept them guessing, and he was on the lookout for assists constantly. The Rockets were a team that constantly looked to push the tempo and Beverley continued in that tradition with a vengeance. That enables an offense to do exactly what they want throughout an entire game without compromise. That's valuable.
Occasional recklessness. Beverley came out of the gate early and was a bit reckless on the court. He never played with the wanton disregard for his physical health like Gerald "Crash" Wallace did but he certainly got ahead of himself early on. I remember watching Patrick's early games and thinking that he needed to slow it down. Over the course of the season he did. Confidence came to him and he embraced it. He attacked, he knew his game, and he knew what needed to happen. Beverley dictated what kind of minutes he received by his play on the court and as a result, he began finishing games out. That says a great deal about this guy.
He's certainly nowhere near as pretty as Chandler Parsons but I honestly don't recall any ugly part of his game. I'm taxing my memory very hard and I'm not really seeing it. His defense was consistently there and he was a pest. His offense through true shooting percentage was pretty strong, too.
Beverley is a player who thoroughly illustrates that most of the knocks on Kevin McHale are unwarranted. Beverley came over as an unknown quantity, saw floor time, played well, and was granted more floor time. Beverley excelled and McHale then rewarded him by placing him on the floor to finish games out. Marcus Morris showed the same mentality from the coach that when a player does as they are asked and puts in the effort and production they'll see time. Beverley embodied this and purged a great deal of his deficiencies on the season as they went along.
As always feel free to vote in our poll about the grade, yell at each other or me in the comments, tweet mean things at me @QuestionablyBD, and email at TDSMailbag@gmail.com.