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The Good, The Bad and the Beas

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Breaking down what Michael Beasley has brought to the Heat since his return.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I'll admit it: I was wrong. I guess I should be used to saying that by now after declaring that the Heat had virtually no chance at trading for Goran Dragic, but here we are. Again. I was wrong.

Michael Beasley has been a welcomed addition to the Miami Heat, giving them way more than I think even the most optimistic fan could have asked for. Let's break it down a little further:

The Good:


Never in a million years did I think I'd have defense included in this section.

In 174 minutes with Beasley on the court this season the Heat have a defensive rating of 100.9 which would rank a respectable 11th in the NBA. With Beasley off the floor that number is 107.4, which ranks 27th in the league. Not great.(Numbers courtesy of basketball-reference).

Beasley has been asked to defend a variety of positions in his short stint with the Heat, including center, a position Beasley has little to no experience playing. When the Heat went zone for nearly 20 minutes in last week's game against the Sacramento Kings it was Beasley's job to anchor the middle and deal with DeMarcus Cousins. The zone stifled the Kings offense and Beasley was a large part of that playing solid help defense and locking down Cousins to the best of his abilities. If nothing else Beasley is clearly putting in effort on this end that we may not have seen earlier in his career.

Inside scoring

Beasley is shooting 61.3% on shots inside of 10 feet which is a very good number. For context, Dwyane Wade shoots 61.2% on shots inside of 10 feet. Hassan Whiteside shoots 63.6%.

When Beasley gets the ball near the rim he's dangerous. He can finish with both hands and he has a variety of moves that give defenders fits when the Heat go small and Beasley is matched up with opposing power forwards and centers.Take this example from last week's game against the Wizards. Beasley is playing center for the Heat and the Wizards have Nene stuck guarding him. The Heat clear out the left side for Beasley and Nene has no chance of staying in front of him as Beasley goes middle and finishes the layup.

No Chance Nene

The Bad

Shot Selection

Beasley is taking nearly 12 shots a night in 25 minutes per game since joining the Heat which is, uh, kinda a lot.

Don't get me wrong - Beasley was brought in primarily for his skills on the offensive end and should have some freedom to operate, especially when he's in with the second unit that really lacks a scoring punch. With that said, Beasley needs to take smarter shots.

Here is what Beasley's shot chart looks like this season:

Beas Shot Chart

He's taken 34 shots that could be classified as long twos or threes and he's made just 10 of them.  He's taken 47 shots from close or at the rim and made 25 of them.  That's 29% versus 53% which is a sizable difference.  Beasley needs to choose his shots more wisely and his teammates need to get him the ball in areas to succeed.  Beasley is a lefty and looking at his shot chart shows just how much better he is on that side of the floor versus the right.  His teammates need to get him the ball on the left side of the floor and he needs to know to move it when he has it on the right side.

Let's look at this example from the Boston game.


This is the exact type of shot that I'm referring to that Beasley needs to remove from his arsenal.  He catches the ball on the right side of the floor with Brandon Bass right on him.  Instead of dribbling out or passing to a teammate Beasley decides to take matters in to his own hands with :12 left on the shot clock and take a contested midrange jumper.  That's a very low percentage shot and the defense would gladly let him have that every time.  Removing shots like that from Beasley's game would go a long way towards making him a better player.

The Beas

Never change, Beas.