Michael Beasley: Knicks Can Make Playoffs, Says He Can Score 25 Points Per Game

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2017

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, and Phoenix Suns' Michael Beasley in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game  between the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Henny Ray Abrams/Associated Press

New York Knicks forward Michael Beasley has high expectations for himself and his team prior to the 2017-18 season.

"If Tim Hardaway Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and myself [are on the roster]—those are four guys that can score 25 points per game," he said Tuesday, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. "I think we've got a position to be not only a playoff team but a five, six seed team if we do it right."

Anthonya 10-time All-Star who has averaged 24.8 points per game throughout his career—has the best shot, even though he hasn't averaged 25 since 2013-14. Porzingis upped his scoring average to 18.1 in his sophomore season, though averaging 25 is unlikely with Anthony on the roster.

Hardaway had a career year last season with the Atlanta Hawks (14.5 PPG) before signing a surprising four-year, $71 million contract with the Knicks. He may well set a new career high in points, but averaging 16 or 17 per game is more realistic.

Beasley, selected second overall in the 2008 draft, is a scorer at heart. It's why he's still in the league after failing to live up to the hype. But he hasn't averaged over 24 minutes per game since 2010-11 for a reason, and he's unlikely to do so on his sixth NBA team. He'll be lucky to crack double figures in scoring.

New York's season-long rotation also isn't a sure thing with Anthony's status. If he's dealt, it would mean more shot attempts for the aforementioned trio. Even then, 25 for any of the three would be a surprise. And if Beasley did it? It would be the shock of the 2017-18 season.

Regardless, the team has no where to go but up after finishing 31-51 last season and missing the playoffs the last four years.

Willy Hernangomez showed promise as a rookie, and new additions Frank Ntilikina (draft) and Hardaway will help. Perhaps even Joakim Noah can stay healthy and provide a fraction of the production he offered during his heyday with the Chicago Bulls.