Michael Beasley has been one of the most maligned players in the NBA over the past few seasons and, in actuality, it has been for good reason. Not only has he made bone-headed decisions off of the floor, like his most recent incident involving marijuana, but his play has also been frustrating.
Last season, Beasley joined the dubious group to finish a season with more shot attempts than point scored in a single year. Playing with bad teams, Beasley has been difficult to watch because he’s not improved upon the bad habits he had on the floor when he came into the league and has actually gotten worse about some of them.
Released from the Phoenix Suns and now with the Miami Heat, though, Beasley is sort of being swept under the radar. When the Heat initially signed Beasley, many people speculated that he might not even make their final roster and wondered what his future would hold. It’s still early in the year, but Beasley seems to be turning it around.
One of the chief areas of improvement that many people thought that the Heat needed to address heading into this season was adding some more talent to their reserves and finding another player to spark the team off of the bench. Thus far and especially as of late, Beasley has been that player for them.
In the Heat’s blowout win on Wednesday night, Beasley finished the night with 14 points and seven boards off of the bench and, though he shot just 4-10 from the field, got to the line six times and hit all six of his attempts. This marks the third game in his last five that he’s scored in double figures and, in those last five games, this was the first time he’s shot under 50 percent from the floor.
Playing with a team that has an obviously strong nucleus may have been what Beasley needed all along. For a player with his talent but also his personality, some semblance of structure is key and that’s also something Miami (the team, not the city) provides. If Beasley continues this, I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear his name mentioned in the Most Improved Player conversation at season’s end.