1. Patrick Beverley
The heavy ties to the Houston Rockets continue with number one on the list: Patrick Beverley. Say what you want about him, but the guy is IN-TENSE. Just close your eyes and try picturing him playing defense on an important possession.
Do you see his eyes wide-open, staring at his opponent? Clapping? Bodying up the other guard and doing all but crawling underneath his jersey? Yup, that’s Beverley.
He didn’t get the nickname Mr. 94 Feet for nothing. Pat Bev is well-known for his harassing defense that often starts as soon as the other point guard gets the ball in the backcourt. From that point, he does everything he possibly can to get a defensive advantage during the possession.
The 6-1 guard moves his feet quickly, crowds his opponent, yells, flops and reaches in frequently to keep his man off guard. His defensive efforts have earned him well-deserved NBA All-Defensive Team selections in 2014 (2nd) and 2017 (1st).
Patrick Beverley was just born with an extra intense gear, which was made apparent before he even set foot on an NBA court:
"If I destroy anyone I play against, I can succeed in basketball."
Patrick Beverley has been about it since day 1️⃣. pic.twitter.com/5gXTvI9A9a
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 10, 2019
Fans of the Houston Rockets are very familiar with Beverley, as he spent his first five seasons with the team before heading to the LA Clippers. Over that time and even going into this season, Pat Bev formed an intense rivalry with Russell Westbrook, which we covered in detail last December.
While Beverley and Westbrook have seemed to cool off with each other recently, something tells me the two most intense players in the league have yet to close the chapter on their rivalry.