Saturday, July 26, 2008

Breaking Down Beasley

When it comes to athleticism, rebounding, scoring, and overall versatility, Michael Beasley’s name goes on the list of people who can do it all. Beasley does have a few weaknesses, however, and I’m going to look into the pros and cons of the second pick of the draft.


An amazing player athletically, he is a difficult person to guard because of his length and jumping ability. Has a soft inside touch, but his shooting range extends to the NBA three. He has a smooth release with good arc on his shot, does well getting his legs up while shooting, leading to great elevation on his shot. Beasley is deadly from the high post, if the defender lays off he’ll knock down the jumper, if the defender plays tight he has moves to get to the basket with ease. With a quick first step, his shot fakes become very efficient, if the defender goes up for a fake, Beasley will bolt around him and take it inside. When it comes to inside scoring, Beasley has improved greatly; he can knock down hook shots and convert on fadeaways. He is strong enough to get good position in the post, creates a big target for guards to feed him the ball. He crashes the offensive boards hard, his leaping ability and strength allow him to pull down lots of rebounds. Defensively, he takes away passing lanes well with his long arms, and helps well on the weak side by blocking shots. Beasley has a good personality, shows confidence and poise, and never seems to sulk in difficult situations or after he makes a bad play. He will be a good player in the NBA, no doubt.


Although Beasley is a strong player, the fact that he only measured in at 6'8" with shoes makes him undersized at the power forward position. He has a good three point shot, but not well enough to be an effective scorer at the small forward postion, so there is some confusion at which spot he will play. He’s left handed, which helps him confuse defenders, but he has great trouble going right, his ball handling with his right hand is terrible. He doesn’t have a variety of default post moves, moves that he can rely on against any defender. Sometimes he gets out of control and chunks up bad shots. He tends to try to do it all himself, he never thinks pass, only shoot, and this leads him to ill-advised shots against multiple defenders when other players are open. This may have been because his teammates weren’t good scorers, but still he could have looked to the open man in those situations. Beasley only averaged 1.2 assists per game, mainly because he wanted to score most of the time, but his court vision is also questionable. He has the potential to be a great defender, but right now he could improve his lateral quickness. He doesn’t seem to play physically on defense; he shows no effort in denying the other team from scoring. His work ethic is also questionable, he is already a great player but it's possible he won’t want to try to get better. He recently signed a deal worth $3.6 million this season, $3.87 million next season and $4.14 million in 2010-11, so this may cause him to relax with his paycheck rather than improve his game. He’s only 19 years old and has some growing to do; mentally and as a player, too.

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