For a guy who has often been labeled as a “me-first guy” during his first four years in the NBA, you’d think Michael Beasley would fully embrace a system which welcomes the volume shooter’s range and versatility.
But even after his 29-point performance in Friday’s preseason finale against Denver, Beasley — who has played in offenses with the likes of Dwayne Wade and Kevin Love — admitted he is still adjusting to being the No. 1 option for the Suns.
According to ProBasketballTalk, as the former No. 2 overall pick embarks on his first season in Phoenix, the concept of a “green light” from Alvin Gentry is somewhat uncomfortable despite his well-documented offensive prowess.
Taking a page from Mike D’Antoni, Gentry’s offensive scheme has always welcomed a shooter to take open looks if available. That sort of freedom is still a process for Beasley, though. During his previous stints in Miami and Minnesota, the former Kansas State star was often criticized for shooting his team out of an offensive flow.
“He always looks at me like I’m crazy when I say if we play you 30 minutes, you should take 20 shots, and they all should be pretty good shots,” Gentry told reporters after Friday’s win. “It’s just an adjustment that guys have to make, and it’s probably a little different than anybody’s really anticipated as an individual player, that coaches are getting on you for passing up shots.”
If Friday’s electric performance against the Nuggets is any indication, it appears as the season opens Wednesday night, that Beasley will slowly but surely embrace the role of the go-to guy.
Here’s more from PBT:
Consistency is what the Suns will be looking for out of Beasley, especially from a shot-taking standpoint. The talent is there, so at this early stage, the team is going above and beyond to make it clear to its newest offensive threat that he has the full green light at all times. Beasley is starting to get the message. And if he continues to translate what he’s hearing into what he’s doing on the court, we may see plenty of performances similar to the one we saw to finish the preseason.