When the Los Angeles Lakers signed Michael Beasley, he was touted as a versatile playmaker and option for center in lineups when the team went small. Beasley’s time with the team got off to a rocky start as he suffered a pair of minor injuries in preseason and was ejected from another game.
The regular season didn’t bring about many more opportunities, and Beasley twice left the team to tend to a personal matter. He’s seemingly cracked the rotation of late, however, appearing in the last four games.
Sunday was Beasley’s best performance of the season as he scored 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting and hauled in four rebounds in 13 minutes against the Phoenix Suns. “I love the game,” Beasley said when asked how he remained prepared during stretches his number was not called.
“Whether I’m playing or not playing, tired or not, I play every day. It’s easy for me. My teammates make it easy.”
What wasn’t necessarily easy for Beasley and the Lakers was clawing back from a deficit that grew to as many as 17 points. The veteran forward was part of two crucial stretches, with the first in the second quarter as the Lakers opened with a 10-0 run to tie the game.
Then in the fourth, Beasley single-handedly provided an 8-0 run to essentially put the game out of reach. “I was just playing basketball,” he said of the spurt.
His play drew plenty of recognition from head coach Luke Walton, who anticipates providing Beasley with more opportunities. “He was huge for us,” Walton said.
“I tell all of our guys to be ready every night. I know players like to know when they’re going in and feel that comfort of their rotation but we have a very deep team. Different nights it’s going to be different guys. As of right now, he’s done a really nice job the last couple games. I would expect to continue playing him in the future.”
Beasley’s recent production has coincided with the Lakers winning each of the first three games on their homestand. That it’s come after a deflating road loss to the Denver Nuggets is all the more notable.
“In my opinion, just moving forward,” Beasley said of the team’s improvement since the start of the season. “I think we’re still making mistakes, still have a long way to go, but as far as what we’re doing to reconcile that, we’re moving forward and staying positive.”
David Liam Kyle-NBAE via Getty Images Long regarded as the best to ever grace the hardwood…