Michael Beasley is averaging around 14 points this season. He's playing out of position at small forward, he continues to be doubted as a star caliber player in the NBA, he's continually dogged for being unfocused and yet I think there's a great indication that Beasley is going to blossom as a star player in the NBA.
This 6'9'' forward is only 21-years-old, yet it became highly apparent that he's been emotionally and physically hurt over the last two games in losses to the Miami Heat and the Memphis Grizzlies.
First, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies, Michael Beasley was quoted as saying that the Timberwolves were the worst team in the NBA showing an incredible amount of emotion in his eyes. He kept his jersey on to practice in it after the game, but throughout the whole interview, Michael Beasley was hurt. His pride was shot and it looked as if he took the leadership role, blaming himself as well as the whole team.
Second, losing to the Miami Heat, Michael Beasley was having a hell of a game scoring 11 points in 10 minutes, playing very solid defense and attacking the basket. Beasley's star potential showed why he was considered in the same sentence as Kevin Durant entering the draft, but as he drove through defenders and elevated for a layup, he came down on his left hip.
Beasley is a tough kid, and I'm pretty sure that this hurt him physically, but emotionally Beasley couldn't have felt any better. After all, looking at the Miami Heat's roster you would have to think that Beasley could flourish for them, but instead, he's with the Timberwolves, and while I'm sure he's happy, there always has to be a "what-if" factor.
He was given an "OK" ovation, was booed at the charity stripe and fans probably had some few choice words for him.
I'm pretty sure that this just motivated Beasley some more.
Now Beasley is out for a few days to rehab his hip, and I'm not sure how he's going to come back, but something tells me that these rough times are going to be for the better.
Think about it: he's now required to score, he's required to guard some of the best players in the NBA, he's going to be in clutch moments and he's got to learn two positions in Kurt Rambis' offense and he's only 21-years-of-age. This is a lot to carry on someone's shoulders, and it's clear to see that when Beasley is focused like many analysts say, he's unguardable.
I anticipate that by game 50, Beasley is averaging 18+ points from that point on, and the next season is when he truly flourishes, and yes, that's at the small forward position.