April 12, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (12) dribbles the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Lin will for sure be the starting point guard this season for the Houston Rockets. Well, at least the beginning of the season he will be. The back up point guard role is up for grabs with Patrick Beverley, Aaron Brooks, and Isaiah Canaan. Canaan will most likely be on the D-League team being the 4th string point guard on the team. Beverley is the clear favorite based off last season when he filled in Lin’s role perfectly when Lin was injured. For the Rockets to be successful, they will need Beverley to play up to his highest potential like he did in the playoffs. In the 2013 postseason, Beverly averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.
With that said, here are 3 things Beverley can improve on:
-Better Point Guard IQ
-Make better decisions
1) Better Point Guard IQ
Some of the best point guards in the league averaged less turnovers than Beverley last season: Chris Paul averaged 1.5 turnovers per game, Ty Lawson-2.2, Mike Conley-2.3, and Tony Parker– 2.5. They were also starters on their NBA team and averaged more minutes than Beverley.
Last season, when Beverley lined up at the point guard position, he averaged 3 turnovers a game. He also averaged just 2.8 free throw attempts per game.
This year he will get the opportunity to get more minutes to not only showcase his skills in the postseason, but also in the regular season as well. The Rockets ranked last in the league in turnovers per game and if they want to turn things around, Beverley will need to develop into a better PG.
2) Make better decisions
Last season, Beverley had a 24 percent turnover rate. On the possessions that he had the opportunity to assist on, he only assisted the ball 24 percent of the time, which means Beverley needs to improve on running the floor and finding his teammates in transition.
Beverley had over 23 passes thrown which were thrown to the other team and 8 turnovers from losing the ball. He can’t continue to give the ball up to the other team by making bad mistakes; instead, making the smart pass is what has to happen.
His assist numbers were lower in only averaging 2.8 assists in the 2013 playoffs. The 2.8 assists ranked Beverley just 24th in the league in point guards in assists per game during the playoffs. Beverley was also ranked 27th in the NBA in assist to turnover ratio with 2.66. He just doesn’t read the floor well. He needs to know when to shoot the ball and when to kick it out to a wide open 3 point shooter.
3) Clutch Factor
In the 4th quarter or overtime with under 5 minutes left, no more than 5 points separates the teams, Beverley shot only 25 percent from the field and only assisted the ball 50 percent of the time.
Beverley’s shot selection in clutch situations can be questioned at times by taking too many jump shots. 75 percent of his shot attempts were jump shots in the 4th quarter when the game is on the line, while only 25% of his shots came in the paint. Beverley needs to attack the rim more and assist the ball when needed in the crunch times.
His ability to use the shot clock in clutch moments can also be questionable: Beverley waited until the shot clock reached 21 or more seconds 38 percent of the time. When Beverley was on the floor in clutch moments, the Rockets only scored in the first 10 seconds on the shot clock just 13 percent of the time. The Rockets will find themselves in plenty of clutch moments because of how talented the Western Conference is. Beverley has to improve in those areas for the Rockets can win those games.
Those are the three things Beverley must improve on for him to potentially be NBA’s most improved player of the year in the 13′-14′ NBA season. Being a better point guard, making good decisions, and clutch factor are the keys to make his game better than last season. He can potentially be a starter on the Rockets if he can improve those qualities.