Doc Rivers: 'Hopefully' Patrick Beverley Plays in Game 1

After missing most of the LA Clippers' series with the Dallas Mavericks, Doc Rivers is hoping Patrick Beverley will be back for Game 1 of the second round.
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The LA Clippers wrapped up their first-round series with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, winning 111-97 and advancing to the Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2015.

Perhaps what's most impressive about the team's 4-2 victory is that most of the series was played without Patrick Beverley, who hasn't appeared since the opener.

He's one of the most important players on the roster, and his defensive presence was certainly missed against Dallas. Fortunately, it seems like he's made real progress toward a return, as he was upgraded from "doubtful" to "questionable" ahead of Game 6 before being ruled out.

After LA's series-clinching win, Doc Rivers addressed Beverley's status while discussing where the rest of the team's players are at:

"It's hard to tell," Rivers said. "We keep having these guys out. Hopefully, we can get Pat back for Game 1, and we can get back to our normal rotations."

Rivers' response leaves little room to speculate, but it does sound like LA will be getting Beverley back on the floor sooner rather than later. 

One thing that will help Beverley in his recovery is time, and luckily, the Clippers just got a lot more of it.

On Sunday night, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of their first-round series, extending the matchup to Game 7. That contest is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. And because the Clippers will face the winner of that series, Beverley will get a few extra days of rest.

Regardless of who wins, Beverley will have his hands full in the second round. Denver's Jamal Murray has been one of the best playoff performers so far this year, averaging 34.0 points per game on 58.5% shooting from the field. Utah's Donovan Mitchell is right there with him at 38.7 points on 54.8% shooting.

Even if Beverley isn't available for Game 1, it seems far more likely than not that he'll be able to suit up at some point in the series and round out LA's roster.

Until then, look for Landry Shamet to continue starting in Beverley's place.