Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverley got acquainted early and often throughout the NBA playoff first-round series between the Warriors and Clippers, in which Golden State prevailed in six games.
Despite an extreme height disadvantage, the pesky Los Angeles guard frequently took on the challenge of defending the four-time NBA scoring champion with varying degrees of success. While Durant got the better of the matchup -- he averaged 35.0 points per game in the series on 56.7 percent shooting from the field and 40.0 percent from 3-point range -- Beverley did goad Durant into an ejection, and played a critical role in extending the series six games.
At the conclusion of that series, the Warriors advanced to the second round, where they currently hold a two-games-to-one series lead over the Rockets, heading into Game 4 in Houston on Monday night. The Clippers, meanwhile, saw their season come to an end, allowing Beverley to share his basketball expertise in a different element.
Beverley joined the NBA TV crew Monday to discuss the Warriors-Rockets series, and it was quite obvious he was thoroughly impressed with the damage Durant did to the Clippers.
"He went for the kill," Beverley said of Durant. "And I've guarded a lot of people. After, I went home and I told my fans, he is the best player in the NBA, hands down. It's not close."
Beverley is widely regarded as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league, so his opinion in that department carries some weight.
"He saw something, and he went at it every single time," he continued. "That's a killer mindset."
In the seven games since proclaiming that he is, in fact, Kevin Durant, the Warriors' lethal scorer is averaging an absurd 39.4 points per contest on 51.1 percent shooting from the field and 44.3 percent from beyond the arc.
While Durant has most certainly validated his reminder to the world, it appears Beverley didn't need one.