From the excellent A Wolf Among Wolves:
Michael Beasley has been hot the past few games and his sweet spots are obviously around the elbows. I noticed that you…
“He’s gotta get another sweet spot.
He’s a good player. They’ve gotta teach him how to play ball. He could be such a good player, but he’s doing just one thing. He’s so athletic, he could make you work a lot of the time, but he’s just playing one way. He’s going all the way to the hole or he’s going to shoot. He’s not getting no assists. It’s not his fault, he’s a young player. Somebody should tell him. This is his first year really doing him. He’s been playing under Dwyane Wade and in the shadow of Wade. But he should be having more assists and more rebounds. He should be playing more defense. With more defense, his numbers are gonna go down, but that’s a sacrifice. He could be a winner, but somebody’s gotta teach him how to win though. Right now he’s just shining. That’s not enough.
The game should be harder to play against his team. He can shoot, he can get to the hole and he can pass, but he’s just standing up there and not making the pass. He’s gotta make his teammates better. He should watch LeBron. He’s actually a better shooter than LeBron. He’s a better shooter, right? But the smarts are not there. He needs to watch LeBron.
But I’m the last person who should be talking though, cause I gotta guard him.”
You know, it's actually pretty high praise for Beasley, in my opinion. Artest may be crazy, goofy, and into organic produce, but the dude knows basketball - again, in my opinion. I have this theory that excellent defensive players are some of the most insightful players in any sport because in order to play defense at a high level you have to understand so many nuances of whichever game you're playing. You need to know offensive systems and plays, you need to know angles and routes and timing, and you need to know individual skills and tendencies. In short, you need to recognize or predict what your guy wants to do before he even does it. Artest is very gifted in this regard.
I just love what he says (and doesn't say). He doesn't pat Beasley on the back, instead he compliments him in the perhaps the best way possible - "Beasley, not only can you be better...you should be better. I expect more out of you." Coming from a seasoned vet, Beasley just received some of the best advice he might get this entire year. Becoming the go-to guy on our team is still so new that I expect further development from him as the season goes on. It will be fun to watch and see what happens with Beasley as the season goes on.