Michael Beasley Could Be Removed from Knicks Starting Lineup, Rips Teammates

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2018

New York Knicks' Michael Beasley (8) is seen during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Feb 12, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 108-92. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters Saturday it's "possible" he will remove power forward Michael Beasley from the starting lineup because of an ankle injury and his lackluster defensive play in the aftermath of a 128-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman

Beasley has provided steady scoring to the tune of 12.5 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 40.7 percent from three during his first season with the Knicks, but his defense has noticeably lagged behind. 

According to NBA.com's lineup data, the Knicks are allowing 110.5 points per 100 possessions with Beasley on the floor compared to 105.6 when he's on the bench. 

Beasley, though, didn't shine a light on his defensive struggles following the Knicks' third straight loss. 

Rather, he told Berman he thought the team struggled with ball movement after New York assisted on 59 percent of its made baskets against the Clippers—a mark that was actually higher than the team's season-long mark of 56.9 percent. 

"How many assists did we have tonight?" Beasley said. "It's a lot of things. A lot.

"Offensively, it's hard to get involved. It's hard to get a rhythm. That's why I asked you about the assists."

Beasley added the Knicks still have plenty of work to do when it comes to developing chemistry with one another. 

"I can't be the only one trying to [figure] it out," he said, per Berman. "We've got to figure it out together. We just don't play the right way of basketball at times. And that's frustrating."

The Knicks will be back in action Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center before heading to Moda Center for a showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. 

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