The Los Angeles Lakers came out on top of the battle of two of the most disappointing teams of the early 2022-23 season. To defeat the Brooklyn Nets, L.A. used its trademark defense, holding the opponents to just 103 points. After the game, Lakers enforcer Patrick Beverley made sure to credit himself for how his team fared on that end of the court.
Setting the tone
"Sh*t," Beverley answered when asked what the key to Los Angeles' defense was. "Me guarding KD! Y'all didn't see that? That was the key from the beginning. I set the tone, the team responded."
Did the 34-year-old make a good point?
A look at Kevin Durant's stats shows that the Nets star had a great game overall. He scored 31 points on 8-for-16 shooting and was able to get to the free-throw line 15 times. In addition, he got his teammates going, recording seven assists.
Even if he did put up solid numbers, Durant had a plus-minus of -15. So, it seems like Beverley's defense did its damage.
Loving his confidence
Lakers fans have got to love the confidence oozing from the man called "Mr. 94 Feet" for his ball-hawking abilities. At least Beverly has his defense to show for this campaign because he isn't contributing anywhere else.
In fact, this might be the pesky point guard's worst season ever, as, before the Nets game, he had been averaging just 4.9 points per game on a 28.6% shooting clip.
Los Angeles is just 3-10 so far in the young season. If the team wants to move up in the standings and contend for a playoff spot, it would need a lot more from Beverley. Can he rise to the occasion? The odds might be stacked against him. But maybe his confidence can help him overcome the odds.