Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant got tossed out of Game 1 against the Sacramento Kings, after locking horns with ferocious Sacramento Kings defender Patrick Beverley. (Beverley has claimed reasonably in the past to be the “best defender in the NBA.”) The Warriors won that game anyway, with Steph Curry posting big numbers and Durant being a distributor while he was out on the floor. But in Game 2, in which the Warriors blew a 31 point lead and lost, Durant somehow managed to take only eight shots. Beverley claimed victory, and said afterwards it’s no secret how to stop Durant. The answer to the often unanswerable Durant? “Be Pat,” according to Beverley. If every team had a Pat Beverley, he seems to say, KD would be in big trouble.
There are other reasons why Durant may have been less obviously productive, too. He’s been doing a lot of distributing and decoying and the Warriors have been winning that way. (See Curry outburst in Game 1 for evidence.) Durant also took 12 free throws, which doesn’t actually sound like he’s being iced, you know? But there is little doubt that “Be Pat” has its effect. Here’s Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on how what a bad trade it is for the Warriors to lose Durant while the Kings lost Beverley in Game 1:
“We talked about it the last couple days. He’s a hell of a defender who plays hard. We have a lot of respect for him. But you cannot take the bait because that’s a bad trade for us. You just can’t do it. The Clippers have made a lot of good trades this year, and that was maybe their best.”