There two things that everyone knows about Michael Beasley. Those are that he is a great basketball talent and that his off the court activities have limited his basketball growth and performances. Because of his immense talent Michael Beasley was brought to Miami where it all started for him six years ago. The legendary Pat Riley brought him back to give the Heat’s bench some sparks and to perhaps awake a sleeping beast.
I believe that this was a good move for Miami. However, a number of things need to happen to make Michael Beasley a key contributing part of the Heat’s rotation. First and foremost, Michael Beasley has to quit definitively all illegal substances and concentrate himself on basketball and his responsibilities to the Miami Heat.
Second, Michael Beasley needs to be mentored by the future Hall of Famer and team best player LeBron James. Michael Beasley is 6′ 10 for 235 pounds, so he also is a physical specimen. At 25 years of age, he is ready to put to the necessary work in the gym to get his body a terrific shape to ultimately get stronger. Who better than King James to show Michael Beasley how to get shape to play a long and demanding regular season as well as long playoffs runs.
Third, King James would also have to teach his younger teammate how to play better defense not for two possessions but for 35 minutes. If Beasley wants to be a starter or the sixth man of the Heat, he needs to play some serious defense for he would have to go against the best small forwards and power forward in the league every single night. No championship team is sustainable without defense. At 25 years of age he can constitute a significant part of the future of the Miami heat and if he makes that much needed improvement. Consequently, LeBron James, Michael Beasley and Chris Bosh could become one of the most formidable frontline in the NBA.
Fourth, Beasley would have to turn Michael “Beastley”. In other words, after getting stronger and playing tough and effective defensive he should turn the heat on and play lights out offensively. To do that he will need to develop a better mid-range jumper and a much improved three point shot to fit in the floor spreading strategy of the Heat. As he knocks down those shots with consistency he will be able to use pump fake to get his defenders in the air in the event that he chooses not take the jumper and to go basket instead.
Fifth and last, Michael Beasley physical and basketball growth would have to be couple by a mental and psychological growth. Put simply, Michael Beasley has to mature. His team, his coaches and his front offices executive can go to great length to assist that process. Nevertheless, I maintain the notion that he must want it more than everyone else. He must initiate and maintain this growth to become the player he can really be.
This process could take a year, perhaps two, but it should help the Miami Heat in the near future. If he does all the work he needs to do, Michael Beasley could insert himself into the starting lineup which would look like this, from point guard to center, Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Michael Beasley and Chris bosh. In a different scenario, he could become their sixth man and be a productive scorer and defender coming off the bench that can also finish games with his the starters in the fourth quarter.
All this can be possible only if the Heat and LeBron James take it upon himself to help Michael Beasley develop into the great player he can become.