HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Patrick Beverley and the newly acquired Ty Lawson were all smiles on Monday at Houston Rockets Media Day at Toyota Center taking a tandem photo after their individual shoots. The point guard duo will have a different demeanor on Tuesday when the Rockets begin training camp as they will battle for minutes and for the spot as the Rockets starting point guard.
Last season Beverley missed the final 12 games of the regular season and the entire post season run that ended in a Western Conference Finals to the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors as he healed up from an injured left wrist.
In the offseason, Beverley signed a four-year $23 million contract to remain in Houston, but the Rockets added an additional point guard to the mix by acquiring Lawson on July 20th. Beverley is excited about the competition
“It’s a competition no matter what happens, but at the end of the day we are on the same team,” Beverley said. “We are going push each other to the possible limit that we possibly can every single day in practice. That’s our job, that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Lawson was third in the NBA in assists last season averaging 9.6 per contest and 15 points per game on a Denver team that went 31-51 that included the firing of head coach Brian Shaw on March 3, 2015.
Lawson faced a run of personal and legal issues during the season, including being arrested twice for driving under the influence. The Rockets acquired him and a Nuggets second round back in exchange for Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, a 2016 first round draft pick, and cash considerations on July 20th.
Lawson admitted that perhaps the environment he was in, which included losing in Denver was something he wanted to get away from.
“Everybody likes a fresh start,” Lawson said. “Being here in Houston, different scenery, different people. I enjoy having a fresh start.”
The organization is committed to helping Lawson in any way that they can.
“I’ve been encouraged by the steps he’s taken,” Rockets GM Daryl Morey said. “We’re going to continue to help him as an organization as well.”
Lawson is excited he will practice against Beverley, someone he referred to as, “one of the best perimeter defenders” in the NBA.
“He’s a great defender,” Lawson said. “I’m glad I am going to have the chance to play against him everyday. I know if we are in practice going against each other we’re both going to get better.”
Beverley knows the competition will be fierce and agreed that they will push each other to be better players on the same team.
“There’s no one that’s gonna guard him in the NBA like I’m going to guard him,” Beverley said. “There’s no one going to push me in the NBA like (Lawson) is going to push me and it compliments each other; so when we go out and face other teams it’s a dominant effort.”
Beverley made mention of the fact that he’s been in point guard battles his entire life, including with the Rockets a few seasons ago with Jeremy Lin. It’s still uncertain who will be the starter by the end of camp, but Beverley knows that the combination of guards that the Rockets have won’t make it easy for opposing team’s backcourts.
“I know we are going to give guards hell,” Beverley said.
Alex Del Barrio can be heard on Saturday afternoons with Matt Murphy from 3-7 pm on Sportsradio 610. Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio