Three Hogs to play in NBA playoffs

By: Logan Wilson
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Joe Johnson (left) and Patrick Beverley (right) are a pair of the former Arkansas basketball players that will be playing in the NBA playoffs this year.
Photo by The Associated Press
Joe Johnson (left) and Patrick Beverley (right) are a pair of the former Arkansas basketball players that will be playing in the NBA playoffs this year.

Three former Arkansas basketball players will be competing in the 2013 NBA playoffs.

Patrick Beverley, Ronnie Brewer and Joe Johnson all clinched postseason berths with their respective teams as the regular season ended Wednesday.

Beverley, a point guard for the Houston Rockets, and Brewer, a small forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets (45-37) lost their regular season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers to end up the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and will face the top-seeded Thunder (60-22) in the opening round.

Beverley has provided a spark off the bench since Houston signed him earlier this season. The Chicago native filled the stat sheet by averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game, while logging an average of 17.4 minutes in 41 games. Beverley is also shooting 37.5 percent beyond the arc and 82.9 percent at the free throw line.

Brewer began the season with the New York Knicks but Oklahoma City surrendered a 2014 second-round pick and cash considerations for the Fayetteville native, according to ESPN. The Thunder traded for Brewer before the trade deadline and one night after giving up 46 points to Houston guard James Harden.

Known mostly for his defensive prowess, Brewer averaged just 3.0 points per game this season. He has averaged 1.3 steals per game in his career.

In the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets (49-33), featuring Johnson, are the No. 4 seed and will face the Chicago Bulls in the first round.

Johnson is averaging 16.3 points per game in his first season with the Nets and his 12th season in the NBA. The Little Rock native started all 72 regular season games in which he played, was the Nets' third-leading scorer and averaged the team's second-most assists with 3.5 per game.

This is the sixth straight season Johnson will play in the NBA playoffs. Brewer has only missed out on postseason play once in his seven-year career. The Grizzlies failed to make the 2010 NBA playoffs after Brewer suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in his fifth and final game of his brief stint with Memphis.

The Brooklyn Nets will host the Bulls at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Barclays Center for Game 1 of the seven-game series and it will be televised on ESPN. The first game of the Thunder-Rockets series is scheduled for an 8:30 tipoff Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and will be televised by TNT.

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