After Opening Night's performance, Beasley rhymes with measly
Then again, maybe it's more a case of what we didn't see. Namely, Suns forward Michael Beasley in the fourth quarter. As in, Beasley rhymes with measly. Just 22 -- near meaningless -- minutes of game action. And, once again, none in the final quarter when Beasley got benched in favor of journeyman P.J. Tucker.
"He's got to be on the floor for us. He's got to be a star player for us," Alvin Gentry said.
Uh, what happened? Here at Paulie Roundball Inc., all we know is that the "No Comprendo" aspect to this story actually comes from the shootaround session prior to Wednesday night's opener. Armed with a microphone, I asked Jared Dudley to name the Suns' go-to guy with the game on the line?
His answer: "Beasley."
Then, moments later, when I relayed that endorsement to Beasley himself, he nodded immediately and replied that he embraces and relishes his new role with his new team. He didn't exactly shout it out in his Bart Scott voice (#CantWait!), but, in his own low-key manner, the conviction was earnest.
So again, what happened?
"When he's out there, it's got to be a 48 minute-focus," Gentry explained and/or pleaded thru the media. "And that's what we're trying to get him to. We've got to give him a little bit of a break because this is the first time in his career that anybody, any team has asked him to do what we're asking him to do. We're asking him to be, basically, the man on our team."
But, as we've said before, it can always get worse. With that in mind, did you happen to hear Beasley the day after? When asked by Arizona Sports 620's Craig Grialou, and the assembled media, after practice about how riding the bench during crunch time wasn't exactly a stellar first impression, Beasley agreed.
"No, it's not (a great first impression)," he said. "But, I'll be here for a long time. So, get used to me."
Get used to me? Our follow-up question would be -- which one? Are we supposed to get used to the former No. 2 draft pick with the talent to take over any game at any level at any time? Or are we supposed to get used to 6' 10" worth of enigma who, at 23 years of age, has already been discarded by two teams?
"We need him to play to win ball games. He's going to be there for us, I know that," Luis Scola said. "We need to find a way to make him more comfortable and get him the shots that he wants."
How do the Suns make that happen? Can they make that happen? Or is it (gulp) only Beasley himself who can make that happen?
"Just got to be aggressive," Beasley self-diagnosed. "I feel like I have the talent level and the stamina and also the mental stability to play 30-plus minutes a game. Just got to stay aggressive. I can't really flow in and out of games."
On Halloween night, Michael Beasley dressed up as a Phoenix Sun, replete with high tops and $18 million in guaranteed salary. Yet nobody knew for certain what they were looking at. That's scary.