When Patrick Beverly walked off the basketball court after the Timber Wolves’ play-in victory over LA Clippers on Tuesday, tears of triumph streamed down her face.
It was an emotional win for Beverley and Wolves, who scored their first playoff finish since 2018, and second in 18 years, with the 109-104 victory.
And for Pat Bev – who climbed to the top of the scorer’s table and threw his jersey into the crowd – the victory was personal.
“Bring ’em home,” Beverley commented on what he said to former teammates after forcing the game-breaking turnover late in the fourth quarter. “Long Flight to LA”
The Clippers traded Beverley, who played for Los Angeles from 2017-21, to Memphis on August 16 last year before moving to Minnesota nine days later. He signed a one-year, $13 million extension in February.
“It’s deep for me,” Beverley said of the trade. “I gave my blood and my sweat and my tears to this organization. … To just be written off like that. … To be able to play them in a play-in and beat their a–, there’s no [better] feeling.”
Bashful wasn’t the adjective to describe Beverley’s post-victory demeanor. But in Nick Wright’s mind, it probably should have been.
“I’m not a killjoy,” Wright said Wednesday on “First Things First.”
“You want to see Patrick Beverley’s three most impactful pieces [Tuesday]? He misses a 3 to the side of the backboard then knocks Paul George to the ground with a dirty hip kick. Now [let’s] go to the fourth. Again, someone not looking [Reggie Jackson] is thrown to the ground. Thirty seconds later, you’ll notice a bunch of bodies. Guess who’s in the middle of it all? This piece by Paul George is a crystallization of [Beverley’s] Career: Miss a 3 on the side of the backboard and catch it trying to hurt the other team’s star. That’s what he’s always been.”
Conversely, Chris Broussard had no problem with Beverley’s antics.
“I know Beverley is not a great player,” Broussard said.
“But his leadership in the dressing room, the energy he brought, was huge for this team. Early in the season, after losing a few games to the Clippers, he called a team meeting, had all the players lined up, and said, “Say what your role is on this team.” Yes, it gets under the skin if you are the opponent. But if he’s on your team, you love having a little irritant like him.”
Pat Beverley leads Timberwolves to first playoffs since 2018
Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Kevin Wildes share their thoughts on celebrating Patrick Beverley on Tuesday night.
Arguably the funniest moment of the evening came from the team ‘Inside the NBA’ on TNT, prompting Wolves to celebrate as if they had won the NBA title.
Shaquille O’Neal mockingly sang Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ and Kenny Smith wondered if Wolves head coach Chris Finch would be celebrating shirtless in the locker room.
Still, Shannon Sharpe had no problem with Minnesota’s exuberance given the team’s lack of playoff experience.
“I think a lot of people thought the celebration seemed over the top,” Sharpe said on “Undisputed.” “But I didn’t have a problem with that for the simple fact that it’s not like Minnesota makes the playoffs every year. Now if it was Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green doing that , I’ll be like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ It’s just who Pat Bev is. That’s how he got here.”
The Timberwolves’ job is far from done. Their victory set them up for a first-round clash with one of the most scrappy teams in the league, the Memphis Grizzlies.
And apparently Ja Morant was following Wolves antics on social media.
The match is sure to be a top-flight spectacle, and it’s one that features a rare combination of young talent.
Memphis (142) and Minnesota (128) have the fewest career playoff games combined. The Grizzlies have the fewest players with double-digit playoff appearances (Steven Adams, 59, Kyle Anderson, 35), while the T-Wolves have the second-fewest with three (Patrick Beverley, 59, Greg Monroe, 27, Malik Beasley, 14).
While experience won’t be abundant on the show, the talent certainly will be, and if Patrick Beverley has anything to say about it, so will the intensity.
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