The ‘Pat Bev Revenge Tour’ starts Sunday in L.A., and Lakers are ready

LOS ANGELES – Patrick Beverley had the schedule studied weeks in advance.

When the guard was traded away from the Lakers at the deadline in February, bought out by the Orlando Magic, and eventually brought in by his hometown team, he knew exactly what was coming.

Two games against the Lakers in four days, starting Sunday at Crypto Arena. Or as Beverley initially stated, his chance to eliminate Los Angeles from their current play-in standing.

Welcome to the “Pat Bev Revenge Tour!’’

“That’s fine. He can try,’’ Lakers big man Anthony Davis told his local media about Beverley’s comments. “He can come try. We’ll see Sunday.’’

Beverley will undoubtedly be there.

“You can point at a lot of things, but everything happens for a reason,’’ Beverley said on Saturday, when explaining what he thought went wrong in Los Angeles that they moved him. “They’ve gotten better after the trade, the Bulls after the All-Star break, we’ve gotten better, and that’s what it’s all about. At the end of the day we’re playing basketball. We’re not out there a UFC fighter or a boxing match. We’re able to compete at the highest level, and to do it on a stage in LA is always fun.’’

A suddenly humble Beverley?

Don’t buy it.

Come tip-off and first possession, expect Beverley to go full “Pat Bev’’ until final horn, no matter how much he wanted to downplay it.

“I’ve always been wired like every game is the most important, so I don’t want to put too much on one game,’’ Beverley said. “The first game is just as important as the last. Whatever game you have next is the most important. That’s always been my mindset.’’

But so has been proving people wrong. Players, coaches, front offices, all of them. The former Marshall standout has made a career of that. One he’s hoping to add on to for the Bulls.

Since his arrival, the Bulls are 9-5 and playing their best basketball of the season. They have a more consistent identity – especially on the defensive end – and have a calmer mentality in close games.

“Pat’s been great for me, and it does have some of that same vibe, that same energy like when we had [a healthy] Lonzo [Ball], just the disruption and having guys that can make defensive plays instinctually,’’ teammate Alex Caruso said. “That’s stuff you can’t teach, stuff you can’t really scout. Then just me and him, being high IQ basketball players, like Lonzo was, just being able to play off each other, being able to cover up for each other whenever we are being aggressive, it’s something I’ve noticed that’s worked really well.’’

Not the only thing.

Beverley knows that his reputation throughout the league will always be as a defensive-minded guard. But coaches that really appreciate his game – like a Doc Rivers – praise the way he runs the team with the ball in his hands.

Add Billy Donovan to that club.

As for the naysayers?

“They don’t want to give me my credit,’’ Beverley said. “That’s the truth though. What I did in Minnesota, you hear it, but you don’t hear enough of it as you should. I guess it’s the look.’’

Asked if it was upsetting to not be validated for his offensive skills, he responded, “Nah, I made close to $100-million. If that’s saying enough right there, I don’t need much validation.

“That’s just the nature of the game. That will always be my title no matter how many dimes I throw, no matter what I shoot percentage-wise from the three-point line, it will always stick with me. Which is good … surprise attack.’’

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