Patrick Beverley plays defense like that half-crazy wild man you used to know back in high school who always wanted to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the room. The Rockets' starting point guard is a live wire of annoyance on the court, and that's against teams that didn't insult his manhood and cut him at the end of training camp back in 2010.
That would be the Heat. On Tuesday, Beverley got some revenge.
Mr. Chaos provided the Rockets with an overwhelming perimeter presence and helped limit Heat guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole to a combined 3 of 12 from the field. Beverley was especially relentless against Cole, who the Heat drafted in 2011 after apparently realizing the error of its ways in getting rid of Beverley for ... what ... exactly ... Eddie House? Something tells me Beverley would have matched up pretty well against one José Juan Barea in the 2011 NBA Finals, but let's not go there tonight.
So, Beverley was jawing with the Heat's players pretty much every second he was on the court, which was exactly 1,972 seconds. At one point, it appeared like Heat coach Erik Spoelstra subbed Cole out of the game so Cole wouldn't completely lose his mind and do something stupid. Cole might be the most level-headed player in the NBA, by the way.
After the halftime buzzer, Udonis Haslem walked over to Beverley for a brief conversation. I asked Haslem about that conversation...
"I was just giving him a hard time," Haslem said. "It was nothing serious. I just told him to stop talking crap and looking over at our bench. I know Pat. I think he the spent the summer with us. He's a hard-nosed kid, a real competitor, and I respect the road that he took and the success that he had, but he was just doing a lot of yapping and I told him to stop looking at our bench and talking crap.
"It wasn't nothing personal. I got a lot of love for Pat Beverley, but he was just looking over at our bench and talking and he's always got something to say. We're cool off the court, but in between the lines, I don't like it.
"You play against a team that you worked out for, or you felt like you should have been there, or they made a mistake by letting you go, you try to prove something. And I guess he came out tonight with a chip on his shoulder."
Something tells me that's pretty much every night in the life of Pat Beverley.