If you’re a young player in the NBA, there are few players you’d rather have as a mentor than Patrick Beverley. Not only will he instill in you a defensive, energetic mentality that will make you a more desirable asset to any coaching staff, but he’ll also hold you accountable if you don’t live up to his expectations.
Such is the life of Clippers second-year wing Terance Mann, whom Beverley took under his wing at the beginning of Mann’s rookie year. When asked what he made of Mann playing with energy in Wednesday’s win over the Timberwolves, Beverley was his usual blunt self.
Mann lived up to his vet’s standards on Wednesday. Though he only had four points, he did grab five rebounds in 20 minutes and played with a Beverley-like aggression on the defensive end. Midway through the third quarter, he stole the ball from Ricky Rubio, timing his swipe perfectly without fouling. When he got the ball back in transition after forcing the turnover, he ran the fast break perfectly, forcing the only Timberwolf back to commit to him before throwing a well-aimed lob to a streaking Kawhi Leonard. Mann was visibly excited after the play, bouncing up and down with a fervor not unlike his mentor.
Mann was appreciative of Beverley’s leadership when asked about it after the game.
Mann still has a long way to go if he wants to get to where Beverley is as a nine-year veteran. While he’s shown flashes of competency defensively, he still has a negative net rating for the season. He is also only making one out of every four three-pointers he takes.
Mann does not need to mirror every aspect of Beverley’s play, but the three-and-D components are essential for any modern wing in today’s NBA. If Mann can emulate those qualities, along with the energy and leadership of which Beverley’s teammates so often rave, he’ll be in this league for a long time. No doubt Beverley will be on his a** until he gets there.