Patrick Beverley understands the Oklahoma City Thunder crowd he faces tonight will be a hostile one when the Houston Rockets take on the Thunder in Game 5 of the team’s first round playoff matchup, but don’t expect the well-traveled rookie guard to be rattled when the boos start pouring in.
The Rockets are returning to Oklahoma City for the first time since star guard Russell Westbrook suffered a season ending injury in a somewhat controversial play in which Beverley attempted to steal the ball from Westbrook as he called a timeout on the floor.
Beverley isn’t the most popular of people around the Oklahoma City area and allegedly received a death threat from a Thunder ball boy, however, the rookie point guard knows a thing or two about hostile arenas.
Beverley built up an impressive resume in Europe, playing in the Ukraine, Greece and Russia before making the Rockets’ roster. Beverley told Ultimate Rockets that abuse was part of the game in some countries, particularly Greece.
“It’s pretty (much) worse over there, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be pretty bad (in Oklahoma City),” he said.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m looking forward to all the boos and stuff. I understand the crowd is going to be amped up, and I hope that is going to get us that more focused.”
“Every time you catch the ball, you’re going to hear boos, so at least I get to release some of the pressure off (Rockets teammate and former Thunder guard James Harden).”
Beverley played a huge role in the absence of Jeremy Lin in Game 4, playing 37 minutes and scoring 16 points. Despite his strong play, Beverley and backup Aaron Brooks weren’t able to limit the somewhat weaker tandem of Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher, who combined for 30 points in the narrow Rockets win.
Patrick Beverley has a huge role to play in tonight’s Game 5 in a win or go home situation for the Houston Rockets, but despite his rookie status, he’s seen it all before.
Robert White covers the Houston Rockets for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.