Patrick Beverley

Clippers Rumors: Lue, Young Players, Kawhi

After parting ways with Doc Rivers, the Clippers initially put together a list of about 10 possible candidates to replace him, according to Jovan Buha and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The team seriously considered five of those candidates before narrowing their search to three finalists.

Although the Clippers did conduct a full search, Tyronn Lue was the first candidate they contacted following Rivers’ departure and was one of just two candidates who checked every one of the team’s boxes. As Buha and Vardon explain, the Clippers consider Lue an “elite tactician” and viewed his familiarity with the roster as a positive — having spent the 2019/20 season as Rivers’ lead assistant, Lue got to see first-hand what went wrong, and has ideas for potential solutions.

[RELATED: Clippers to promote Tyronn Lue to head coach]

According to The Athletic’s duo, the Clippers also like that Lue isn’t a “staunch idealist” like Mike D’Antoni or Tom Thibodeau, and is more willing to tinker with lineups and styles, adapting to the roster he has. The club hopes to keep Kawhi Leonard and Paul George around for multiple seasons but recognizes that the roster might change around them. L.A.’s front office believes Lue is capable of adjusting to those changes and getting the best out of his players.

Speaking of Leonard and George, they were consulted by the Clippers’ top decision-makers during the search, per Buha and Vardon. However, neither star forward wanted to steer the search in a particular direction and told the team that they trusted the front office. They were both ultimately on board with the choice of Lue.

Here’s more on the Clippers and their new head coaching hire:

  • Lue will be aiming to bring more ball movement and a faster pace to the Clippers next season, sources tell Buha and Vardon. He also intends to switch up defensive coverages more often and give the club’s younger players – such as Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet, Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele – more playing time.
  • Lue’s five-year contract is believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $7MM per year, according to Buha and Vardon.
  • The Clippers would like to establish better “synergy” between the coaching staff and front office, sources tell The Athletic. Lue is willing to work with the front office as he fills out his staff.
  • Buha and Vardon also reiterated a point that we’ve heard in the past, writing that some Clippers players – including Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, and Lou Williams – bristled at the preferential treatment that Leonard received during his first season in L.A. The star forward was allowed to dictate to Rivers when he came out of games and was often late for team flights because he lived in San Diego, according to The Athletic’s reporters.
  • In an Insider-only story for, Kevin Pelton offers up three areas for Lue to focus on as he attempts to get the Clippers to the NBA Finals. Those include tightening up the defense and not overreacting to a disappointing postseason outcome.

More Details On Doc Rivers’ Departure From Clippers

Although the Clippers‘ official press release on Doc Rivers‘ exit from the franchise suggested that the split was a mutual decision, people with knowledge of the situation told Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times that Rivers was “surprised to learn” the club wanted to move on.

[RELATED: Doc Rivers Out As Clippers’ Head Coach]

While the coaching change may have come as a surprise, it didn’t come out of nowhere, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who reports that a divide occurred as a result of an “accumulation of philosophical differences” over the years and especially in recent weeks.

According to Buha, Rivers and team owner Steve Ballmer had multiple “candid” discussions following the team’s second-round playoff exit, exploring where things went wrong and comparing their visions of the organization’s future. They ultimately decided that they had differing visions of the path forward, resulting in what Buha refers to as a mutual decision to go their separate ways.

Rivers’ view, per Buha, was that the Clippers’ roster had some flaws and that he had tried the make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. The franchise, meanwhile, viewed the second-round collapse as “inexcusable” and considered Rivers culpable for many of the club’s shortcomings despite the unfavorable and unusual circumstances dictated by the coronavirus pandemic and the Orlando bubble.

Here’s more on the Clippers’ split with Rivers:

  • Rivers’ insistence on sticking with a struggling Montrezl Harrell over Ivica Zubac at key moments in the postseason and his reluctance to develop or empower young players during his Clippers tenure were among the factors the team considered when it made its change, according to Buha. Harrell’s energy and effort on the defensive end of the court was questioned both inside and outside the locker room, Buha adds.
  • There was a sense that the Clippers played with a “distinct lack of joy and on-court chemistry” this season and that Rivers had a hard time balancing his treatment of new stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with that of Clips veterans like Harrell, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley, Buha writes. The perception of preferential treatment for Leonard and George was an ongoing issue for multiple Clippers players all year.
  • The decision to part ways with Rivers was ultimately Ballmer’s, but the Clippers owner called a few key players, including Leonard and George – to get their opinions, sources told Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. None of the feedback Ballmer received changed his mind about the need for a change, and Rivers didn’t feel comfortable staying with the team without Ballmer’s full sport, per ESPN’s duo.
  • The Clippers didn’t have a specific replacement in mind when they decided to part with Rivers, and there’s an expectation that the search for a new coach could take several weeks, according to Buha, who says there’s no clear-cut top candidate yet.
  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to some executives around the NBA about the Rivers news and the most logical candidates to replace him on the Clippers’ bench.

NBA Announces 2019/20 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2019/20 season. Unsurprisingly, Defensive Player of the Year (and possible repeat MVP) Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading vote-getter with 195 total points. Players receive two points per First Team vote and one point per Second Team vote.

This is the Bucks forward’s second consecutive appearance on the All-NBA First Team. Antetokounmpo was listed on 98 of 100 ballots from the 100 broadcasters and writers who comprised this year’s voting panel. 97 of those voters awarded him a First Team vote.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis was featured on every ballot and received a total tally of 187 points (including 87 First Team votes). Sixers guard Ben Simmons tallied 185 points with the third-most votes this year. Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the 2018 and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, was fourth with 95 total votes (85 First Team), for 180 total points. Celtics guard Marcus Smart rounded out the All-Defensive First Team with 152 points, including 57 First Team votes.

Gobert’s inclusion on the All-Defensive First Team has earned him a $500K bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Antetokounmpo’s Bucks teammates Brook Lopez (67 points) and Eric Bledsoe (59 points) each made the All-Defensive Second Team.

[RELATED: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named Defensive Player Of The Year]

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team:

Second Team:

You can find the full voting results right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patrick Beverley Fined $25K By NBA

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been fined $25K by the NBA for “verbal abuse of a game official,” the league announced today in a press release.

The incident occurred near the end of the Clippers’ Game 2 loss to Denver on Saturday. Beverley was hit with a pair of technical fouls and ejected from the game after he took exception to back-to-back personal foul calls against him. The veteran guard continued to shout at James Capers following his ejection.

Beverley, who missed most of the Clippers’ seeding games and first-round series against Dallas due to a nagging calf strain, has returned to action against Denver.

He played well in a limited role last Thursday, chipping in eight points, six rebounds, and a pair of three-pointers in just 12 minutes. However, he struggled to make an impact on Saturday, scoring just two points in 15 minutes as he racked up five fouls.

Patrick Beverley To Play In Game 1 Vs. Nuggets

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers asserts that point guard Patrick Beverley will play in tonight’s first game of the team’s conference semifinals series against the Nuggets, per Ohm Youngmisuk (Twitter link). Beverley was officially listed as questionable to appear as recently as yesterday, though Rivers seemed fairly confident Beverley would be able to play.

Beverley, the club’s nominal starting point guard, has been battling a left calf strain during the league’s Orlando summer restart. The injury has limited him to just four games overall, including just one playoff appearance, in Game 1 of the Clippers’ first-round series against the Mavericks.

Point guard Reggie Jackson and off-guard Landry Shamet both started in Beverley’s stead for portions of the series. Shamet started the final four games. The Clippers went on to beat Dallas 4-2.

Nuggets head coach Mike Malone noted the challenge of Beverley’s addition to the active roster, according to Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). “He’s a very good defender, we all know that,” Malone said. “Last time we played them, in L.A., Patrick Beverley-Paul GeorgeKawhi Leonard, three elite defenders on the perimeter… they all took turns guarding Jamal Murray.”

Western Notes: Beverley, Rondo, Barea, Mavericks

The Clippers have officially listed starting point guard Patrick Beverley as questionable for Thursday’s Western Conference semifinals Game 1 against the Nuggets, per Mark Medina of USA TODAY (Twitter link).

The veteran point guard has missed five straight games for Los Angeles with a nagging left calf injury. In his absence, the Clippers turned to second-year combo guard Landry Shamet, who started in four games against the Mavericks in their first-round series. As a starter, the former Wichita State standout averaged 11.5 PPG and shot 50 percent from three-point range.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was asked about Beverely’s potential return on Wednesday. “You’ll see him for sure (in the series),” he said (h/t Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN). “I’m pretty sure tomorrow (for Game 1), but I can’t guarantee that.” Los Angeles will be hoping that the defensive-minded point guard can slow down Denver’s dynamic point guard Jamal Murray.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said on Monday that point guard Rajon Rondo practiced and should be available in the second round. Rondo has not played a single game in the bubble due to a broken thumb, which he suffered in July.
  • Eddie Sefko of looked at three keys areas in which Dallas needs to improve at in the offseason. Sefko suggested that the Mavericks need an enforcer like Marcus Morris of the Clippers, who was a factor on the boards and gave Dallas fits in the first round. While they showed improvement from last season in the rebounding department, the Mavs were outrebounded by three rebounds per game in their first-round series versus Los Angeles, Sefko notes.
  • Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea could possibly be playing overseas next season, according to Christian Santaella, who is a close friend of the 36-year-old. Santaella told that three teams from Liga ACB are interested in Barea’s services. The veteran point guard did not see significant playing time this season for Dallas, only averaging 15.5 MPG in 29 games.

Western Notes: Westbrook, Beverley, Lakers, Kings

Rockets star Russell Westbrook returned on Saturday from a quad injury, marking his first in-game action of the postseason. Despite looking rusty on a minutes restriction, Westbrook provided a much-needed energy boost in his return, helping elevate the team to a 114-80 rout over the Thunder.

“He just gives us some energy, he speeds up the game,” coach Mike D’Antoni said, as relayed by James Jackson of The Oklahoman. “He’s going to get better the more times he goes out and plays. I knew he was going to be a little rusty but he gave us a nice little spark to start the game and I thought he played great. It was good.”

Westbrook hadn’t been active in quite some time and it showed. He finished with seven points, shooting 3-of-13 in 23 minutes of action. But he also recorded six rebounds, seven assists and a +21 net rating, firing up his teammates on the court and assisting them off of it from the sidelines.

“He brought that energy, he brought that excitement that we were missing,” James Harden said. “We just need him. Obviously he’s our leader. We all know what he does for the game of basketball and for our team so it was exciting to have him out there.”

The Rockets will play the Thunder in Game 6 of their series on Monday and will advance to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals with a win.

Here are some other notes from the West today:

Injury Updates: Butler, Westbrook, Lowry, Beverley

The Heat have a week-long break after sweeping the Pacers in the first round, and the time off has given two players a chance to overcome injuries, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Jimmy Butler, who played Game 4 against Indiana with a strained left shoulder, and Jae Crowder, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, were both able to practice today.

“We had a couple of really good days of work and nobody was in a mood to work on Wednesday night or Thursday,” said coach Erik Spoelstra, who now has a fully healthy roster. “And that was the reason for this pause. We’ve been able to get a couple good days of work (Friday and Saturday). We’ll watch the (Bucks-Magic) game this afternoon and see what happens. Either way, our guys will be ready.”

There’s more injury news around the league:

  • Russell Westbrook will make his playoff debut for the Rockets today, but his minutes will be restricted, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Westbrook, who has been sidelined since Aug. 11 with a strained right quadriceps, will be limited to 25-28 minutes in Game 5.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Lowry sprained his left ankle in the final game of the Nets series when he stepped on Chris Chiozza‘s foot. He was able to practice today, and Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he “looked OK.”
  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been moved from doubtful to questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Dallas, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Beverley hasn’t played since the series opener because of a strained left calf.
  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Utah, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Harris is dealing with a strained right hip and hasn’t been able to play since the season restarted.

Restart Notes: Rivers, Beverley, Roberts, Protest, Paul

Clippers coach Doc Rivers felt the season would resume when the players sat out Wednesday’s games in protest but acknowledged it could have gone either way, according to Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “I knew how high the emotions were and I just, I had a lot of faith that it would all calm down,” Rivers said. He added that the players’ vote whether to keep playing was close. “I don’t think it was a layup either way,” he said.

We have more regarding the decision to resume the season:

  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley admits he exchanged words with Players Association executive director Michele Roberts during the contentious players meeting on Wednesday, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk notes. “Oh, just we had a very interesting conversation,” Beverley said Friday. “The PA is like a family… You don’t always agree with your family members, and that’s OK. You communicate about it and you try to make it better.” Beverley interrupted Roberts more than once, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports, and shot back “No, I pay your salary,” when Roberts objected. Other players, including Chris Paul and Udonis Haslem, intervened and admonished Beverley.
  • Players showed the power in their voices and action by sitting out games but must wield their influence wisely, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated opines. Players are hurting emotionally and want answers, but there aren’t any easy ones. Changes can only come in small increments, and there is only so much NBA owners can do to alter that, Mannix adds.
  • Paul has done a remarkable job leading the Players Association, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said to The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto and other media members. “I don’t think there’s ever been a president of the Players Association that’s had to endure and handle what he’s had to handle this season,” Donovan said.

Injury Updates: Doncic, Beverley, Westbrook, Harris, Green

The Mavericks are listing star guard Luka Doncic as questionable for Game 4 against the Clippers, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. In today’s session with reporters, coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic, who left Friday night’s contest with a sprained left ankle, might be a “game-time decision” for Sunday.

“I wish I knew right now, but I don’t,” Carlisle said. “We have good depth to play without him, but he’s one of the best players in the world, so if we have to play without him, it’s a big loss.”

Doncic was scheduled to have an MRI on the ankle today, but the test was delayed because of an issue with the machine. He briefly returned to Game 3 after suffering the injury in the third quarter, but was removed again after about three minutes.

“I could run,” he told reporters, “but I couldn’t push off my left leg.”

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is listed as doubtful for Sunday, according to a tweet from the team. If he can’t play, it would mark the eighth game in the past nine that Beverley has missed with a strained left calf.
  • Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni continues to cite improvement from Russell Westbrook as he recovers from a strained quadriceps muscle, but hasn’t speculated on when he might return, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Westbrook’s running has been limited to an alter-G device that restricts how much of a player’s weight is placed on the treadmill. D’Antoni said Westbrook is “doing better, as expected. Every day he does a little bit more.”
  • Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris has been upgraded to doubtful for Game 4, raising hopes that he might soon be ready to play for the first time in five months, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. A right hip strain has kept Harris out of action since the team arrived in Orlando.
  • The Celtics announced that small forward Javonte Green will miss his second straight game Sunday with a sprained right knee (Twitter link). Green’s court time in the playoffs has been limited to a brief appearance in Game 2.