Udonis Haslem is expected to miss several weeks, if not months, with a torn ligament in his foot. This coupled with the sub-par play of Chris Bosh has brought about an increasingly popular question.
“Did the Miami Heat give up on Michael Beasley to soon?”
Thus far this season, the power forward pairing of Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem have done little to keep opposing frontlines in check. The two have either lacked the muscle or bulk needed to keep the opposition from racking up huge numbers in the paint. On defense, they both have lacked the toughness needed to instill fear in their opponents.
To be frank, the two players have been as soft as cotton, Bosh more-so than Haslem.
Over in Minnesota, Miami’s starter at the power forward last season has quietly impressed his new club. Beasley has been as tough as nails for the Timberwolves, especially from a mental-standpoint.
After taking a horrendous foul during his return to Miami, Beasley was expected to miss multiple games but ended up sitting out only one game.
Since that game, chatter has risen that maybe the Heat shouldn’t have parted ways with Beasley. The chatter isn’t because people feel that he’s a better player than Bosh and Haslem. It’s primarily based on two simple factors—production and value.
Beasley Providing More Bangs for the Bucks
Bosh and Haslem combined efforts are barely keeping pace with what Beasley is doing in 15 fewer minutes on the floor. At this point of the season it wouldn’t be far-fetched to suggest that Beasley is the better player, especially in regards to production.
As of today, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem are averaging a combined 25 points on 19 field goal attempts per game. Beasley, in 15 fewer minutes and without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade creating for him, has managed to post 22 points per game on 18 attempts a night.
In regards to offensive rebounds, the Miami duo is averaging 3 per game between them. Beasley is averaging close to two, again, in 15 fewer minutes of floor time. The biggest difference being that Beasley’s offensive rebounds are often of the momentum swinging variety.
Chris Boash and Udonis Haslem have combined to average 1-steal and 1-block per game, same as Michael Beasley. Many might be surprised but Beasley did finish last season ranked as the second highest rated defender on the Heat.
The only glaring advantage for Miami’s duo is the defensive rebounds. They hold a 12 to 4 advantage over Beasley. But it should be noted that Beasley is second on a team that features a player who is grabbing 9-defensive-boards in 31 minutes of play.
Lastly, the Heat are paying Bosh and Haslem a combined $18 million this season. Minnesota on the other hand are paying Beasley a meager $4.9 million this season, easily making him one of the most underpaid franchise players in the league.
Beasley Would Have Been the Better Fit
Pat Riley is an extremely prideful individual. If given the chance to answer would he like a do-over on the Beasley situation, I’m sure Riley’s answer would remain as a no.
Riley’s stance has always been that the moves he made was about acquiring pieces that best fit together.
Well being that Bosh plays extremely similar to Beasley and that Beasley was a third option for the Heat last season. Shouldn’t someone have forecasted that Bosh’s number might actually resemble those of Beasley’s a season ago?
Had that been the case, wouldn’t it have been logical and more beneficial from a financial aspect to go after multiple pieces instead of signing Bosh and giving away Beasley?
It’s been stated that Beasley wouldn’t have fit in with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Apparently some folks have better physic abilities than others.
The truth, however, is this—the Heat knew what they could expect from Beasley as a third option.
Prior to a knee injury versus the Toronto Raptors last season. Michael Beasley was basically averaging 17-points and 7-rebounds per game in a little less than 32 minutes per game.
He even dominated Bosh in their head to head match-ups, so it’s not like the Heat didn’t know who was tougher.
In regards to size, Beasley is only an inch shorter than Bosh but he’s almost 10-pounds heavier. So the size argument is out the window, especially being that Beasley is taller and bigger than Haslem who often played center for the Heat.
It’s rather simple to equate if the Heat made the logical decision when you know all the pieces. They could have had Beasley, Miller and Haslem and still have had about $10 million to utilize on matters of size and etc.
To bad for Miami that life doesn’t afford room to second guess ones’ self. Miami made it’s decision and has to live with it.
But that doesn't mean that we as fans can’t poke and plod in the realm of "what-if..."