Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard Patrick Beverley has been suspended by the NBA for three games, the league said expression. As a result, Pat Bev will miss back-to-back fights against the Spurs on Friday and Saturday, as well as next week’s fight with the Indiana Pacers.
Beverley himself predicted he would face some punishment for a blatant cheap foul on Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and admitted after the game that he regretted the incident.
The 6’1″ veteran guard said after taking offense at the Phoenix big man for standing over Lakers guard Austin Reaves, who had been knocked down by All-Star Suns shooting guard Devin Booker during the two fought for a rebound late in a later 115-105 loss to the Lakers.While Ayton was towering over Reaves, Beverly ran into him full force, knocking the big man down.The Lakers and Suns players suddenly stood just before an exchange of blows, the referees ejected Beverley, gave Ayton a tech and called Booker for a foul.
The league noted in its press release that Beverley’s past conduct over the years informed their decision to issue a suspension rather than a simple fine. He played the same behind-the-back shove game against the Suns two years ago when he was still with the LA Clippers during the 2021 Western Conference Finals, although it was against Chris Paul back then.
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I’m not the first person to suggest this, but this moment could be a blessing in disguise for an LA club who could likely benefit from fewer Patrick Beverly minutes. They had really high hopes for the three-time all-defensive teamer going into the season and believed to have been acquired by the Lakers in the offseason to replace Russell Westbrook on the Los Angeles roster.
Though Beverley did oust Russ as the team’s launch leader, Beverley’s production has fallen off a cliff while Westbrook has thrived since being benched. That jab was the most memorable thing Beverley did on a basketball court all year. He’s averaging a career-worst 4.1 points per game at a 26.6% field goal rate, which was his career-worst at a rather generous 27.4 minutes a night. With Beverley running out of offensive firepower, one wonders how much he should be in the team’s rotation.
With Beverley unavailable, one wonders if head coach Darvin Ham will choose to start Reaves or Dennis Schroeder as point guard. After LeBron James was sidelined, Reaves had recently joined the starting lineup as shooting guard, while regular shooting guard Lonnie Walker was promoted to small forward. James could be back tomorrow, but maybe Reaves doesn’t need to be demoted now.
Reaves seems to be the more fascinating and consistent two-way player than Schroeder at this point in their respective careers, but Schroeder is a proud veteran and may be hoping for the nod despite being completely unpredictable in the lineup in his three games back after one Pre-season UCL surgery.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that Beverley will lose $89,655 per contest by sitting out these next three games, for a total of $268,966.