NBA Playoffs: 3 X-Factor Bulls that could surprise us, 2 that could fall flat

Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls
Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Could Fall Flat: Patrick Beverley

Despite the Bulls’ huge improvement since the addition of Patrick Beverley, I still suspect he’s a candidate to fall flat in postseason play.

Half of Beverley’s impact has been elevating the play of the rest of the team, and while that’s something this team desperately needed, it’s also a testament to how Pat has needed to find ways to compensate for his own shortcomings. Beverley’s tangible on-court impact hasn’t actually been nearly as impressive as the mental edge he provides.

Through 19 games with the Bulls, Beverley’s averaging an optimistically mediocre 5.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Although he’s been given the green light to jack up shots from deep — averaging 4.7 long-range attempts per 36 minutes — he’s only knocking down a poor 29.4% of those shots.

Sure, there’s value to be had in a player who makes his teammates better, but it’s important to note the Bulls are currently playing full throttle to keep their season alive, and that there isn’t much room remaining for their game to grow. Many of the top seeds are already coasting to a comfy position, and when they dial things up, the difference in talent may become immediately noticeable.

As much as I love Beverley for what he’s done for this team, there’s a reason he’s a journeyman point guard who was just cut from a struggling roster a few weeks ago. Pat can help the rest of the team lock in mentally when it’s most important, but expecting big-time plays from him when the lights shine brightest may be a foolish idea to put stock in right now.