Patrick Beverly has played nine NBA seasons and has yet to miss the season. The 33-year-old point guard has no plans for that streak to end in Minnesota.
“I don’t expect that to change,” he said on Wednesday.
Beverly came to Minnesota last month in a deal that sent Juancho Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver to Memphis. The Timberwolves aren’t synonymous with the playoffs—they’ve been there exactly once since 2004—but the Beverly are considered part of the franchise’s solution.
“Mr. 94 Feet” is a defensive gnat who isn’t afraid to get into opponents’ grills and provides a needed tenacity and, perhaps more important, a winning mindset.
“I’ve been on playoff teams. I’ve been on competitive teams. I’ve been on a team that was trying to win a championship, on a team that teams don’t really prepare for. I kind of I want to bring the place to this team,” said Beverly. “We have a good youth corps, and to consistently achieve what you want from them every day, you need to be successful not only this year but throughout the year.” Keeps it in a position to be successful over the years. So, I think that’s the key.”
Minnesota brought in another point guard known for winning at a high level back in 2017, Jeff Teague. He made the playoffs in each of his first eight seasons before reaching Minnesota. To their credit, Wolves barely made the playoffs in the 2017–18 campaign, but any culture established in the coming season deteriorated.
Beverly is tasked with making sure this doesn’t happen to this group.
“I play with everyone, so being fit is not a problem,” he said. “I think my biggest focus is seeing how we can close every night in a row, one preseason, one season and eventually, if we’re doing the right things, getting into the playoffs. Basketball It’s basketball. It won’t change. But everything else in between, I think you can control that to put yourself in a position to win a lot of games.”
But he enters a situation in which the right things are often done. As good as Minnesota looked last season—it has the talent to win basketball—successful stretches were often followed by lackluster letdowns. Wolves can’t afford that if they plan to achieve their stated goal of reaching the 2021-22 NBA playoffs. If they are indeed in contention to achieve such a feat this season, Beverly believes it will put “good pressure” on their teammates who are not used to winning.
“Being able to close in every day, in every practice. Being able to close in at every shootout. Limiting mistakes defensively. Solidarity as a team, I think it’s an all-win culture part of it,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to be on really, really, really good teams, and I’ve been lucky to be on teams where we weren’t so good but we made it out of Best made. Each team, and player, did not change any of these characteristics. You apply them to the game, you will succeed.”
He wants to hold his comrades accountable not by humiliating them but by keeping them honest.
“If everyone is accountable, then we position ourselves to be successful,” he said. “I’m trying to win. I’m just trying to win.”