Northwest Notes: Beverley, Billups, Brase, Thunder

Patrick Beverley hasn’t missed the playoffs since his NBA career began in 2012, and he’s determined to keep his postseason streak alive in his first season with the Timberwolves, writes Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. Beverley was traded from the Clippers to the Grizzlies and then from Memphis to Minnesota this summer, winding up with an organization that only been to the playoffs one time since 2004.

“My biggest focus is seeing how locked in we can be each and every night consistently, over a preseason, a season and eventually if we’re doing the right things getting to the playoffs,” Beverley said today during his introductory press conference. “Basketball is basketball. That won’t change. But everything else in the middle, I think you can control that to put yourself in a position to win a lot of games.”

Team president Gersson Rosas sees Beverley as a player who “can change the whole defense,” which will be a priority for a Wolves team that was 28th in defensive rating last season. Beverley will also be a veteran leader on a team filled with young players.

“Understand what’s going on. Understand positioning. Understand spacing. Understand timing and once you understand those things, you’re a student of the game and then you’re able to become a teacher,” Beverley said. “When … you’re able to teach the defense or teach that position, you put yourself in the position to be successful defensively.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Tutoring sessions with Tyronn Lue during last year’s COVID-19 hiatus convinced Chauncey Billups to try coaching, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Billups, who was an announcer for the Clippers at the time, learned the game from a different perspective during that makeshift coaching camp, which routinely lasted four to five hours a day. Billups spent a season as an assistant with L.A. before being hired as head coach of the Trail Blazers this summer.
  • Matt Brase is the newest addition to Billups’ staff with the Trail Blazers, per Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Brase was an assistant to Mike D’Antoni in Houston from 2018-20.
  • The Thunder and their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, will share the Paycom Center as their home arena this season, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. They are scheduled to play home games on the same day 15 times.
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