PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns saw a key player make his return Wednesday as they hosted the Los Angeles Lakers, and it’s a good thing Michael Beasley showed up.
Oh sure, that Steve Nash guy was also at the US Airways Center, but whatever. The story Wednesday night was the fifth-year pro, who had his finest moment in purple and orange.
And perhaps it was just a prelude of what’s to come.
“Michael Beasley was incredible tonight,” Suns interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said after the 92-86 win. “He’s been really working hard to get to this point, and I really see promise in his future.”
Beasley finished the night with 27 points, six rebounds and five steals, providing not only a spark, but the go-to presence the Suns have so desperately craved over the last three seasons.
Of the 27 he scored on the night, 10 came in the fourth quarter. He made five-of-six shots in the final period.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Beasley said of his fourth quarter success. “I’m just going to be aggressive, I’m going to play hard.
“Whether the shots fall or not I’m still going to take them.”
“He was aggressive, he didn’t think much,” point guard Goran Dragic said of Beasley. “When he was alone he didn’t pump fake, he would just shoot the ball.”
Dragic said Beasley was “in the zone”, and that much would appear to be true. It is a rare sight for anyone wearing purple and orange — or black — but one that needed to be seen.
That’s not to say Beasley plans on taking all the shots, as he said it all depends on what the team needs him to do. However, haven’t seen Phoenix’s fourth quarter struggles, it’s become obvious they need him to look to score.
He won’t be great every night, but when he is the Suns are a pretty good team.
Hunter knows that — everyone knows that — and it’s why no matter how frustrating the concept may be, it’s probably worth the franchise’s time to really work with the 24-year-old in hopes of seeing increased production.
“I’m really positive with him, I encourage him, and I think Mike is a unique kid,” Hunter said. “He’s a people pleaser, he wants to please you, he wants to do the right thing.
“I think from an organization standpoint we’ve done everything to put him in position to succeed, and he’s embraced it, and that’s been great to see.”
The 17,184 fans in attendance Wednesday, or at least a good many of them, would agree.