Can Lillard dominate Beverley?
To hear Houston's Patrick Beverley -- and most of the media, including me -- talk about it, Beverley got the best of Damian Lillard in their head-to-head matchups this season.
But thanks to the hard work of the folks at NBA.com, who have used SportVU player tracking to isolate matchups, we know the real truth.
Beverley defended Lillard for 29 minutes and 51 seconds this season. Lillard hit 11 of his 21 shots from the field during that time and a red-hot five of his 10 three-point field goals. he scored 31 points in those nearly 30 minutes vs. Beverley.
That is nothing for Beverley to brag about, especially given the fact that he's supposed to be a defensive specialist.
And Lillard was very successful on his drives to the basket against Houston, whether Beverley or anyone else was defending him. Lillard had 17 drives against Beverley and came away with 16 points on them. Overall, against Houston, he had 38 drives for 33 points -- very good stuff.
Beverley did succeed in getting under Lillard's skin a bit this season. But he obviously didn't get to his shot much.