Alvin Gentry admits he doesn’t even know what he’s going to get from his fifth-year power forward on a nightly basis.
“I put him in and we hope that he has a great night.”
In other words, the Suns head coach is no different than anyone else who has watched his team this season.
Michael Beasley — on the basketball court, can be hard to understand or explain.
He’s an enigma.
How else does one describe what they see when the 24-year-old steps foot on an NBA floor?
Case in point, Monday’s game against Oklahoma City:
In the first half, Beasley made a single free throw shooting 0-for-1 with three turnovers in seven minutes.
In the second half, Beasley scored 13 points (5-for-13 FG) and grabbed 11 rebounds in 18 minutes.
“Second half just started knocking down shots,” Beasley said following only his second double-double of the season.
Gentry would prefer the latter over the former. He would prefer his most talented player “play within the game”, staying engaged and making good decisions.
“When that happens,” Gentry said, “we have a tendency to shoot the ball better and end up with better play overall.”
Beasley did that in the second half Monday, and as a result, he played the entire fourth quarter.
“It definitely felt good to be out there but the loss trumps all,” he said of what has recently been a rare occasion of playing meaningful minutes.
Beasley has been a less-than-frequent guest in the fourth quarter. In the 36 games he’s played this season, 17 times he’s failed to make it on the court in the final 12 minutes.
That may be changing, however.
Beasley has finished the last three games, including playing every minute of the final quarter in each of the past two, something he had not done in back-to-back games all season.
“I’m not worried about numbers or shots or anything else, just play hard as I possibly can and hope for the best,” he said.
“One thing about me is I’m always going to be me whether I play or whether I don’t play. I know what I can do offensively. I know what I can do defensively. My confidence will never change. I still believe I’m the best and nobody can make me think otherwise.”
That said, the hope is everyone will see “the best” on a more consistent basis.