After last night’s resounding victory over LeBron James’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Beasley must have taken a step back in awe when looking at his personal stat sheet for the game, 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. All of this in a span of 26 minutes, the most he has received thus far in his return to a Miami Heat uniform.
Beasley was at a low point in his NBA career this summer, having just been released by the Phoenix Suns, and cast aside during free agency by most legitimate teams. It wasn’t until the Heat decided to revisit the idea of bringing Beasley back that his name would finally be associated with something outside of marijuana use. His numbers averaged with the Suns were mostly career lows, and it seemed the former No. 2 pick would continue his downward spiral into oblivion unless another franchise was willing to take a risk on the troubled young player. This is where the Heat came in.
Since rejoining the Heat, Beasley is having a breakout season as a role player. Averaging a career low in minutes per game (16.1), Beasley is shooting at a higher percentage than he ever has in his career, a blistering 56 percent from the field. He is also shooting a career-high percentage from the free throw line, at 81 percent. What these are signs of is a player working hard at his game, especially now that some of the pressure is off him offensively, as he is no longer one of the top five players on the roster anymore.
Beasley’s size and offensive talent make him the perfect fit coming off the bench for the defending champs. His ability to stretch the floor, plus create his own offense off the dribble relieves some of the pressure typically placed on the main ball handlers, Dwyane Wade and James. If Beasley can continue the type of dominant performances he displayed last night in Cleveland, his place in the rotation will become a lot more significant. Beasley’s renaissance has finally arrived.