Patrick Beverley Likely to Return from Injury for Clippers vs. Nuggets Game 1

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Patrick Beverley (21) disputes a foul with referee Curtis Blair during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he expects Patrick Beverley to return for the team's Game 1 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

"You'll see him for sure," Rivers told reporters Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure tomorrow [for Game 1], but I can't guarantee that. But he looked pretty good [in practice]."

Beverley has appeared in just four games since arriving in Orlando, Florida, because of a calf strain. He attempted to return for the Clippers' first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks but missed the last five games after aggravating the injury in Game 1.

Landry Shamet and Reggie Jackson have started in the point guard role in Beverley's place with inconsistent results. Jackson doesn't bring the same level of defensive intensity, but he did give a boost to the Clippers offense by shooting 57.1 percent from three against the Mavericks.

Shamet is a floor spacer whose role fluctuated greatly in the Dallas series. He played only eight minutes in Game 1 but ramped that up to 38 by Game 6.

Beverley's return will put the Clippers back at full strength as they enter Round 2 as a heavy favorite against a Denver team that just went through a seven-game slugfest against the Utah Jazz. It's unclear if he'll be on a minutes restriction. Beverley averaged 26.3 minutes per game during the regular season but hasn't played more than 21 minutes in a game since the restart.

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