Patrick Beverley crouched in a defensive posture, his eyes focused on Toronto guard Delon Wright in front of him, his legs and arms churning.
With one flick of his right hand, Beverley tapped the ball off Wright's leg for a turnover. He looked at the Clippers' bench and raised an index finger.
"First team," Beverley yelled during the Clippers' exhibition game Tuesday night.
Beverley was in all his glory, the agitator reminding all why he was an All-NBA first-team defensive selection last season.
"It's weird to have to tell somebody to tone it down on defense a little bit," DeAndre Jordan, a third-team all-defensive pick, said about Beverley. "I'm trying to think of a good word. He is a pest. And I think that's good. You've got to have a guy like that. He gets under your skin on both ends of the floor."
The Clippers saw what an impassioned competitor Beverley is during nine days of training camp and two exhibition games.
He was one of the key players the Clippers received from the Houston Rockets in the Chris Paul trade.
In Beverley's eyes, it was an "applause to me" that the Clippers acquired him for "a guy of that caliber" because he figured "I must be doing something right."
"He's always going to be intense," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "He's intense in practice. He takes the game very seriously. And I think his teammates really appreciate that."
If he was going to stick in the NBA as a point guard, Beverley had to find his niche.