An opening tipoff usually is a calm affair. But when Patrick Beverley (seen above during warm-ups ahead of this game) is involved, calm is never guaranteed. That was the case on Wednesday.
Beverley and the Minnesota Timberwolves were getting ready to host the Toronto Raptors. Before the opening tip, Beverley and Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. were battling for position. Only, this battle was more intense than what we’d normally see.
Gary vs Bev, who you got? pic.twitter.com/qs4tba60PE
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) February 17, 2022
This game was indeed a homecoming for Trent. Before transferring to Napa, CA for his senior year of high school, he attended high school in nearby Apple Valley, MN. So, we can guess that Trent likely had some family and friends in attendance. If that’s true, his family and friends saw Trent (and Beverley) earn the rare pregame technical foul.
The game hasn't even started and we already have double technicals on Gary Trent Jr and Patrick Beverley, jockeying before opening tip
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 17, 2022
If anyone was concerned that a game between two opponents from different conferences would lack intensity, those fears have to be assuaged. Similarly, if anyone thought that Beverley’s intensity might waiver after signing a $13 million contract extention, there’s no need to worry about that anymore.
The conflict did seem to inspire Trent. After his shoving match with Beverley, Trent continued his recent wave of strong play, scoring 13 points in the opening quarter, the most from either team.
If nothing else, the remainder of this game, as well as the March 30 game between the two teams in Toronto, got a lot more interesting.
[Top screengrab via a video from Raptors Republic]