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Houston Rockets: A Look into the Career and Emergence of Patrick Beverley

Beverley Bounced Around Europe Before Finally Finding His Way into the NBA

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | On January 7th, the Houston Rockets signed Patrick Beverley to a two-year contract, and dumped rookie point guard Scott Machado to make room for him on the roster.

At the time, the signing of Beverley seemed irrelevant. Personally, I had heard his name before, but never watched him play, and I doubt that many basketball fans had. Beverley, a Chicago native, played two seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2006-2008, averaging a pedestrian 13 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

After college, Beverley spent a year playing in the Ukraine. After the season, Beverley declared for the 2009 draft, and was selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers. Beverley was traded on draft night to the Miami Heat, but decided not to join the team, electing to play in the Greek Basketball League instead.

The following summer, Beverley played for the Heat's summer league team and earned himself an invitation to training camp. Right before the 2010-11 season started, Beverley was cut by the Heat, and headed back to Europe. Beverley played a total of 46 games between 2010-12 for BC Spartack St. Petersburg, putting up his best numbers as a professional, averaging 14.5 points, 6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.1 steals per game, while shooting 46% from the floor.

In December of 2012, Beverley left the team, and a month later, he found himself in Houston.

The former Razorback was immediately sent to the D-League, where he immediately shined. In three games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Beverley averaged 13.7 points, 7 assists, and 6.7 rebounds in 37.3 minutes per game. On January 15th, he was in uniform for Houston, and was thrown into the game during garbage time against the Los Angeles Clippers. In less than two minutes, Beverley drained a three, got into the lane and dished out an assist, and picked someone's pocket for a steal. The next night, Beverley stole the backup point guard job from Toney Douglas, and in 13 minutes had seven points (made all three shots he took), two assists, a rebound, and a block.

At the trade deadline, Houston moved Douglas to Sacramento in the Thomas Robinson trade, and Beverley backed up Lin for the rest of the season. Beverley's numbers weren't by any means impressive, as he averaged 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 17 minutes per game, but his defense and energy were unmatched by anyone on the team. In several games, coach Kevin McHale chose to go with Beverley down the stretch; sometimes McHale went with Beverley strictly for defensive purposes, and other times he stuck Beverley in for offensive ability.

In the playoffs, Beverley emerged as a solid two-way player, averaging 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals in 33.3 minutes per game. Jeremy Lin started the first game of the series at point guard for the Rockets, but coach Kevin McHale decided to start Beverley in the final five games, which has given rise to a number of analysts (including myself) calling for Beverley to start for the Rockets this upcoming season.

Regardless of whether Beverley is going to start or not, there's no doubt he'll be a solid rotational player for the upstart Rockets this season. Hopefully, Beverley can be a newer version of Mario Elie, who was a big part of Houston's last two titles, and who also spent a number of years bouncing from country to country before finally making a name for himself in the NBA.

Personally, Beverley appeals to the side of me that roots for the underdog. I love his energy, his on-ball defense, his facial expressions, and his heart. Despite weighing in at just 180 pounds, Beverley is absolutely fearless on the court. Watching him fly up and down the hardwood and challenge guys who are bigger, stronger, more experienced, and better paid just strikes a cord in me (probably because I entered high school at under five feet and under 100 pounds).

You can't underestimate the impact of a guy who plays his heart out every night; Beverley does that for the Rockets.

M. De Moor is an NBA junkie and a general columnist for He has followed the Rockets from the championship days of Hakeem Olajuwon, to the years of Francis and Mobley, to the McGrady and Yao era, and will continue to follow them through Harden and Dwight's reign of destruction.

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