It was just another thing Beverley has done since arriving in the City of Brotherly love to endear him to the fans here, like getting thrown out of a preseason game for jawing with Ben Simmons. The “dawg” factor has never been in question with Beverley.
But fans should also be appreciating him for the developments he’s making to this day, especially as a 35-year-old veteran player with a new team.
In Monday’s win, Beverley sank 3-of-4 attempted triples and finished with 12 points, two rebounds and two assists in under 12 minutes on the floor. Add those points to consistently solid defense throughout, and it was yet another well-rounded performance from the Sixers’ offseason addition.
The defensive end to that is no surprise. Beverley has been making himself a nuisance to opposing offenses since the season began. But the offense was certainly lacking to say the least to start things off in Philadelphia.
“You come to a new team and you want to play well. I think I was one-sided, you know, just straight defensively,” Beverley said.
Throughout the Sixers’ first 15 games this campaign, Beverley was attempting just 1.3 three-pointers per game, and sinking just 10.5 percent of them, averaging just 2.1 points per game. Now, things are starting to go a bit differently, partially thanks to a conversation with Sixers head coach Nick Nurse.
“Obviously you guys heard about the conversation me and Nurse had, he wanted me to take more shots, you know, eight to ten attempts a game,” Beverley said. “When a coach is giving you confidence like that you can’t help but go out there and kind of throw them in.”
He might not be quite at eight to ten attempts just yet, but he’s headed in the right direction. In the Sixers’ last seven games, he’s up to 4.1 attempted threes per game and sinking 44.8 percent of them, averaging 11 points per game off the bench.
His season averages might not look like the most impressive, but they are hampered down by the rough start to the season. Now, he’s trending upward in nearly every offensive metric as the season continues. Assists are up from 1.8 per game in the first 15 contests to 4.0 in the last seven. In the same timeframes, his field goal percentage has gone from 33.3 percent to 51.9 percent.
As the shots begin to fall and passes start to connect, Beverley is proving himself capable of being that backup ballhandler that Sixers fans have been clamoring for. Small sample size, of course, but he proved it with his one opportunity at the helm so far this season. With Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey both sidelined due to illness, Beverley’s 26-point, eight-rebound and seven-assist performance nearly lifted the Sixers over the Boston Celtics. It ultimately went down as a close loss, but not to the fault of Beverley by any means.
Now, we have to wait and see if Beverley can continue on the trajectory he’s on. If he can, he can prove to be one of the Sixers’ biggest pickups of the offseason, and a key piece of the bench unit.