Michael Beasley’s Struggles Continue

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What is wrong with Michael Beasley?

The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to struggle– while falling short of already low expectations– much of that can be attributed to the recent lackluster play of forward Michael Beasley.

The once rejuvenated Beasley started the year making the league forget about his struggles dealing with the pressures of being the second pick in the 2008 NBA draft.

But as of late his play resembles the Beasley that wore a Miami Heat jersey the last two seasons.

Granted Beasley has been hampered by an ankle injury for much of the second half of the season, which has sidelined him for seven of the team’s last 22 games. But watching him play it seems as though him sitting out was more precautionary than anything.

Over the last 15 games Beasley has averaged only 14.3 points per game. On the year he’s averaging 19.5, and that number has been brought down over this current rough patch.

His rebounding numbers have struggled as well.

Averaging just 4.5 rebounds per game in that same 15-game stretch, a full rebound less than his season average.

Beasley’s 15-game stretch has been a part of a woeful 22-game stretch for the Wolves, which started with a January 9th loss against the San Antonio Spurs– a game where Beasley scored only two points in 12 minutes—the Wolves are just 4-18 over that stretch.

I understand that Beasley has been an integral part of the Wolves success for the majority of the season, so losing him for seven games would have some residual effect on the chemistry of the team.

But the games he has played during this stretch have shown a very disappointing level of effort on Beasley’s part. An example of this was Friday night’s eight points, four for 16 shooting night. A game in which it seemed as though Beasley would rather be on the sidelines in street clothes.

While the injury may be playing a role in the lack of effort, I believe it is a frustration that the league is starting to figure out how to defend Beasley.

With scouting more prevalent than ever, it makes sense that highly paid scouts and assistant coaches would be able to counter Beasley’s tendencies.

As a result it appears that Beasley is trying to fight through defenses that are a step ahead of him, instead of evolving his game to counter what defenses are throwing at him.

The Wolves have had their struggles which also has some effect on the frustration that seems to be plaguing Beasley. But I’d give a ten-year veteran that excuse if they were on a team that was 13-46, not a 22-year old with a lot to prove.

Beasley and teammate Kevin Love have been handed the keys to the Wolves car this season. As a young player Beasley should be doing everything he can to win night in and not out, regardless of his team’s record, while also filling the box score.

Because as they say, it’s not the first contract where you make your money, it’s the second.

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank as beat writer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gopher hockey. He is also the co-host of “The Backdoor Cut,” a Minneapolis based sports and pop culture themed radio show. The show is also podcasted.

You can follow Brett on Twitter @brettcloutier

 

 

 

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