Any objective outsider would notice Patrick Beverley and Marcus Smart play with a similar fire and intensity.
But Beverley isn't an objective outsider.
So, when the Los Angeles Clippers' resident agitator was asked after Wednesday night's win over the Boston Celtics what it was like facing Smart -- one of the few NBA players who can match his intensity -- Beverley bristled.
Here's the exchange, via Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints:
Reporter - “What’s it like being out there with Marcus Smart, a guy trying to out-intense you?”— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 21, 2019
Patrick Beverley - “...”
Reporter - “You don’t usually have another guy out there that matches your intensity.”
Pat Bev - “...That’s funny”#Clippers #Celtics pic.twitter.com/GxrQWb0gjJ
Beverley conveyed very clearly via his silence and icy stare that he believes no one can match his intensity on the court -- not even Smart, who's billed as one of the toughest players in the league.
Smart probably would have something to say about this exchange if he saw it. But after Beverley helped the Clippers seal a 107-104 victory with a clutch 3-pointer in overtime, Smart was complimentary of his combatant.
"Pat Bev is a gamer,” Marcus Smart told reporters after the game, via MassLive.com. “He got himself going. He got a couple easy buckets. He got a couple steals. ... He changed the game, that’s what he does."
While hustle and intensity aren't quantifiable stats, Smart is contributing more than Beverley on the stat sheet, averaging 12.1 points, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game compared to Beverley's 7.7 points, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off Friday at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.