After Michael Beasley had problems both on and off the court during a tumultuous first year with the Phoenix Suns, the team decided to further its fresh start under a new GM and new head coach by negotiating a buyout of his contract, which made Beasley an unrestricted free agent.
Despite his well-chronicled history of issues, talent conquers all at the professional level, so Beasley didn’t remain on the open market for long. He ended up with maybe the only team willing to take a chance on him at this point — the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Beasley played his first two NBA seasons in Miami, so perhaps Pat Riley believes he knows how to reach him. Dwyane Wade was there during Beasley’s first go-around, and posted a photo and message to his Instagram account welcoming Beasley back with open arms.
“Sometimes u need to fall 2 see who will pick up.. Welcome home Beas we got your back… #heatfamily”
“Fall seven times, stand up eight,” anyone?
Beasley will not only need the support and guidance of Wade, LeBron James, and the rest of the veterans on the squad, he’ll need to show them a consistent level of effort, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to fit into what has become a championship culture.
There’s no reason to believe that Beasley will magically straighten himself out and suddenly make basketball his number one priority, because he has yet to show an ability (or even a simple willingness) to do so at any time in his career to this point.
A return to Miami isn’t just Beasley’s best chance at turning his career around; its likely to be his last.
How wild is it that the Grizzlies have two rookies who can dunk like this?
After Ja Morant threw down a jump-out-of-your-seat jam over Aron Baynes a few days ago, Brandon Clarke just made Ian Mahinmi — a good rim protector — look helpless in Memphis’ win over the Wizards yesterday.
Add Jaren Jackson Jr., and the Grizzlies are onto something with their young core.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.
But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.
Popovich, via ESPN:
“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.
And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.
Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.
Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.
Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.
But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.
The Milwaukee Bucks keep right on rolling, they won their 18th straight on Saturday night, cruising past the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now they’re going to have to keep this winning streak going without point guard Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe will miss at least two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture, the team announced Saturday. The injury happened Friday night in a win against Memphis.
An avulsion fracture is where a strain to ligament pulls a little bit of bone off where the two connect. It sounds worse than it is medically, and while it hurts rest is usually the only treatment needed.
Bledsoe is averaging 15 points and 5.7 assists per game for the Bucks, shooting 34.4 percent from three, playing solid defense, and providing another ball handler and shot creator next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee has been +4.1 points per 100 possessions this season with Bledsoe on the court.
George Hill, who has had a strong season for Milwaukee off the bench, will step into the starting role for now.
The injury comes at a rough time as the Buck hit a tougher part of the schedule this week, facing Dallas (which may be without Luka Doncic) and the Lakers on Thursday.