Patrick Beverley Names Damian Lillard as Toughest Defensive Assignment He's Had

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJuly 18, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, hits a shot over Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. The Blazers won 116-105. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been in the NBA long enough to know which guards not to take lightly. 

None of those players hold the title of his toughest matchup, however. That honor goes to Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. 

"I say Dame. I give it to him," Beverley told the JJ Redick Podcast. "Dame is one of the reasons why I went into the weight room. I told my guys, 'Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don't feel like I'm fast. I can't keep up with the speed right now. I don't know if I need to lose weight. I don't know if I need to get stronger. I don't know if I need to hire a new f--king team. But I need to get f--king faster.'"

Beverley's reasoning was rather straightforward. He said Portland has built a system that allows Lillard to play to his potential, giving him room to create separation and leave opponents embarrassed.

"Those half-court shots are like—for me that's layups and corner shots—half-court shots for him, though," Beverley said. "The dynamic is very different when you're going out there preparing for a player like that. Way different."

Beverley won't have to wait too long to see if he's able to keep up with Lillard now. The Clippers face the Blazers on Aug. 8 on TNT at 1 p.m. ET.