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The Underrated Return of Michael Beasley to the Shorthanded Lakers
By Lauren A. Jones Contributing Writer
Published January 17, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Michael Beasley, right, shoots as New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

In Michael Beasley’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers, he has averaged 12.3 points in 15.3 minutes per game off the bench. With the absence of Lebron James and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have needed players to step up and give the team quality minutes.

“He’s a professional scorer and we need that right now,” Lakers’ coach Luke Walton said. “We really missed that from him while he was gone and it’s nice to be able to have someone that you feel confident you can put him in action and he can put a lot of pressure on the other team’s defense.”

After Beasley missed a significant amount of time related to a personal family loss, he rejoined the Lakers for shoot around ahead of the team’s contest against the visiting New York Knicks on Jan. 4.

“It was a nice energy boost seeing Michael in the gym and his teammates love him,” said Walton. “It’s just good to have him back.”

Though Walton was unsure whether he would play Beasley prior to the game, the former second overall pick ended up with 11 minutes of game action in the team’s home loss against the Knicks on Jan. 4. He finished with six points on 2-for-3 shooting from the field.

It was Beasley’s first game minutes since he played seven minutes and 48 seconds in the Lakers’ loss to the Spurs in San Antonio on Dec. 7.

Beasley’s celebrated his thirtieth birthday with a 19-point performance in 19 minutes against the Pistons. He was the team’s second-leading scorer having notched four assists, two rebounds and two blocks.

“I call Michael Beasley a walking bucket,” laughed JaVale McGee, Lakers’ center. “All he needs is some dishwater and a mop.”

Fifteen of Beasley’s 19 points came in the fourth quarter. He was 9-of-13 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from beyond the arc on the night.

Beasley followed up that performance with 17 points versus the Utah Jazz on the road where he was the team’s leading scorer.

With no timeline for James and Rondo’s return and the Lakers having dropped 7-of-10 of their last matchups, the team will need the continued effort of Beasley off the bench.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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