Houston Rockets Michael Beasley was one of the team’s few bright spots in an otherwise disastrous season.
In need of players capable of producing offense, the Houston Rockets took a risk in signing Chinese league MVP Michael Beasley midway through the team’s season.
With full knowledge of Beasley’s history of attitude problems, the Rockets went out on a limb in choosing to bring him into a situation that was less than ideal.
Long before Beasley arrived in Houston, the Rockets had attitude problems of their own. Chemistry and effort issues were often cited as the reason why the Rockets were playing far below their expectations.
From the outside looking in, making a move for Beasley seemed like it would only add fuel to the fire. Nonetheless, the Rockets signed the former 2nd overall pick to a contract to finish off the season with a team option for next season.
From there, with a strong desire to prove that he belongs in the NBA, Beasley exceeded all expectations.
Next: Beasley's Regular Season
Mar 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) looks to dribble the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Solomon Hill (44) defends in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
2015-2016 Regular Season
20 games, 12.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .52%fg
Seeing that Beasley was able to provide an offensive spark the Rockets were in need of all season, it’s a shame he arrived in Houston so late. Playing only twenty games during the regular season, Beasley was able to help the Rockets by relieving James Harden of some of the offensive pressure.
Coming in off the bench, Beasley was able to find ways to score with or without Harden’s help. The Rockets were able to trust Beasley by putting the ball in his hands and letting him go to work.
Aside from being the only player outside of Harden who could create his own shot with consistency, Beasley also became known as the player who shot the Rockets’ least desirable shot- the long two. Having only shot 9 three pointers the entire season, Beasley made a name for himself by shooting an impressive 53 percent from two.
Next: Beasley's Postseason
Mar 23, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) dribbles the ball as Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. The Jazz won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
5 games, 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, .47 fg%
Beasley’s production during the postseason experienced a slight drop off. He definitely didn’t provide the same type of instant offense he did during the regular season.
That being said, Beasley also wasn’t utilized as often as he was during his 20 regular season games. Averaging 18.2 minutes per game during the regular season, Beasley only played 16.0 minutes per game during the regular season.
Josh Smith, who had not played much during the final stretch of the regular season, stole some of Beasley’s minutes in order to guard Golden State’s Draymond Green.
Still, even with a decrease in playing time, Beasley managed to put up solid numbers and provided an offensive option outside of Harden.
Next: Beasley's Best Moments
Mar 19, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) is defended by Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Beasley had a lot of solid offensive outings for the Rockets- just the type of player Houston was in need of. Night in and night out, Beasley provided double digits in the scoring column.
Occasionally, Beasley broke out and looked like the offensive talent many believed he would be when he first entered the league.
Again, Beasley is just a great scorer. He was able to come into any game, get the ball and score on his man. More importantly, he didn’t need help from Harden. Watch him as he moves across the floor with ease, capable of scoring from any area. His offensive canon is closer to that of a guard than it is to that of a big man.
At the beginning of the season, I would have never thought that Michael Beasley was a better option on offense than point guard Ty Lawson.
Next: Beasley's future
Mar 11, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (left) and guard Patrick Beverley (2) celebrate against the Boston Celtics during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Having been signed to a veteran’s minimum contract that includes a team option for next season, it is not guaranteed that Beasley will be wearing a Rockets uniform come October.
If the Rockets don’t bring Beasley back, however, it will be a mistake. His only downside is his defense. From top to bottom, though, the Rockets must improve on defense as an entire unit, and I expect they will do so.
Even if they do not, Beasley’s surplus of offensive talent is worth his occasional defensive mistake.
And lets face it, the Rockets are short on players who are capable of scoring the basketball without Harden on the floor. In all honesty, Beasley is the only player capable of doing so consistently. Hopefully, the Rockets will address that problem as well, but as it stands right now, Beasley is their sole option.
The Rockets have a long summer ahead of them. With the organization having to make a lot tough decisions, one of the easier decisions to be made should be resigning Michael Beasley.
Be sure to check out our Draft Prospect Series and our Year End Player Reviews.
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