Oklahoma City forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverly took center stage on Friday night as their two teams battled back and forth at the Staples Center in a game that came down to the final minute.
OKC’s 118-110 loss left their All-Star a bit bitter over his performance and even more so the way he was defended.
“I’m sorry. It’s just bad officiating,” he said. “We don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year. Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand.”
There’s certainly no love lost between Oklahoma City fans and Patrick Beverly and the fact that the man who is potentially their greatest villain was putting the brakes didn’t settle well either.
Beverly defended Paul George on forty-four possession Friday night limiting him to just 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 shooting from three during those possessions.
In the “touch foul” world that the NBA has become, Beverly is still an old school player who physically defends you for 94 feet. He’s the kind of guy that you’d love to have on your team but also the same guy that you hate when your team plays against.
Beverly took to Twitter on Saturday to protest George’s protest and it turned into a bit of a fun back-and-forth between the two.
Beverly went straight to the stats to make his case, prompting the following response from George.
Beverly wasn’t done though as he had one more parting shot for George.
Oklahoma City fans love physical play and missed calls by the officials just so long as they benefit the Thunder and not work against them. I would say that pretty much sums up any fan base.
This would lead us to two unpopular opinions here that don’t favor the Thunder.
One: Complaining about physical play could insinuate that you’ve gotten soft. Keep in mind, this is a team that boasts one of the best athletes in the game in Russell Westbrook and a physical center who doesn’t shy away from physicality. To complain that someone is just more physical goes against those notions and could indicate a mentality issue.
Two: Beverly did, in fact, get the best of Paul George on Friday night. The complaints about officiating come off as petty and poor sportsman like.
One of the irritations about the Thunder, even for a portion of the fan base, is that the officials are typically taken to task when things don’t go right for the boys in blue. It’s not just the players and coaches, it’s the television and radio broadcasts as well. At some point it becomes “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and just another excuse for losing.
The frustration is real though but Beverly and the officials aren’t the root of it. They are just the mediums that the organization is painting the frustrations on.
This is a team that has lost six of their nine games since the All-Star Break. Patrick Beverly and the officials should be the least of their worries right now.
(cover photo by Jesse Edgar, @LoudCityPhotos)