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Phoenix Suns

Updated Feb 26, 2013 - 5:31 pm

Jared Dudley: Youth can't be an excuse for Michael Beasley, team

Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley, left, and center Marcin Gortat watch from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Oklahoma City won 127-96. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Jared Dudley knows that at 24, teammate Michael Beasley is still relatively young.

Which means, naturally, he still has much to learn.

"With (Michael) Beasley, if Beasley has it going early you know he's going to play well," Dudley told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Tuesday. "I think he has to work on his maturity when he's not shooting the ball well and when he's not scoring.

"It's tough, and right now we don't have a good flow offensively so when he drives there's a lot of people in the paint, and sometimes he might miss a couple of easy shots and he's got to work on just because he misses shots he can still have an effect on the game."

Beasley is averaging just 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season, and after showing signs of life in late January has struggled of late, averaging just more than four points in 12 minutes of action over the last four contests.

And as far as Dudley is concerned, Beasley's problems are as much mental as anything else.

Dudley said Beasley cannot let struggles on offense ruin the rest of his game, and while that's something many players learn over time, at some point youth is no longer a viable excuse.

"I still always think of how young he is, but we can't keep using that excuse for all of us," he said, noting his own relative youth. "This is what you are, and if you don't get it done someone else will."

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