Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverley are lockdown defenders for the Clippers, but they each do it their own unique way.
Coach Doc Rivers explained how Bradley and Beverley handle their business on defense.
“They are way different,” Rivers said. “Pat is more of a energy defender, gambles — probably more than I’m comfortable with. But he’s Pat.
“Avery, he’s just a shut-down defender. Period. He’s as good as I’ve seen on the ball, like ever. There are games where it feels like teams are trying to pick him, but they can’t pick him. That’s just Avery.”
Beverley was named to the NBA’s all-defensive team in 2017 (first team) and 2014 (second team); Bradley received the honor in 2016 (first team) and 2013 (second team).
River never doubted that the Clippers would have one of the top benches in the NBA.
So now that the Clippers’ bench is ranked first in scoring — averaging 53.1 points per game — it’s not much of a surprise to Rivers.
Lou Williams, who won the NBA’s sixth man award last season, leads all reserves in scoring (17.6), and Montrezl Harrell is fourth in scoring (16.1) among reserves.
But Rivers also has Beverley coming off the bench with forward Mike Scott to give the Clippers quality production.
“We actually said it before the year. We didn’t know if we were going to have the best starters, but we thought we were going to have one of the best benches,” Rivers said.
“When you have Trez and Lou and you just start there, your bench is pretty darn good. Then you put Pat on the bench and bring him off. We have a lot of veterans that can help us. So, it’s just a good bench.
“And the chemistry part, you just don’t know if you’re going to have that or not and the fact that we do have that has been good as well.”
Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who has played in just four games this season because of a sore left knee, has been making some progress.
He was seen putting up some shots Saturday after the Clippers’ shootaround.
“I don’t know if you’ll see him next week, but he actually is close,” Rivers said. “I haven’t said that all year.