Beasley Becoming Perfect Glue Guy?

Michael Beasley is showing that he can be the difference-maker.

The New York Knicks forward has put together back-to-back performances of note, and has been an offensive spark during the absence of Tim Hardaway Jr. But these are the kind of games that could lead to a larger role for the talented scorer who is also making an impression on the defensive side of the ball as well.

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In Wednesday’s 121-103 loss to the Washington Wizards, Beasley had a good game on both sides of the floor. In 25 minutes on 8-for-14 shooting, Beasley finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks. It was the second straight game where Beasley came off the bench and led the Knicks in scoring.

Wally Szczerbiak and Bill Pidto break down another solid performance from Michael Beasley off the bench in the loss to Washington.

He has been a silver lining in these two losses in consecutive days, a player who might be knocking on the door for extra minutes on the court. Beasley’s performance against the Wizards – and a day earlier in a loss at the San Antonio Spurs when he had 18 points and nine rebounds – shows that he’s capable of more than just coming off the bench.

But for now, he will hope to have an impact spelling the starting five as he did in Washington. In a game where the Knicks needed a jolt, he certainly provided one.

“I took a few shots that I didn’t want to take – I thought I was going to get the foul,” Beasley said after the game. “My game is the same: In times like this, when you can’t really get offense, they use me a little bit more. I’m just here to do what the team needs, pick them up energy wise. Keep it positive. Try to be the glue.”

Michael Beasley speaks to the media after scoring 20 points in the Knicks' loss to the Wizards.

Signed as a free agent this offseason, the expectation level for Beasley was low. In fact, he seemed like a surplus signing at the time.

In his ninth year in the NBA, the Knicks are Beasley’s seventh team. Outside of a couple good seasons early on in his career with the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves, Beasley hasn’t always lived up to the hype that made him the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

In fact, in three of the past four seasons, he’s failed to average double-digit in points. Few thought Beasley’s signing this offseason was more than a footnote.

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Instead, he has become one of the team’s most impactful performer over the past month.

With the Knicks, he’s certainly changing the narrative that he is only a scorer. Over the past 10 games, he is averaging 18.3 points per game, well above his season average (12.5). But most impressive is that during that stretch, his blocks and rebounds per game are also up significantly, showing a player who isn’t just putting the ball in the bucket but is playing more aggressive defense.

This is something that the Knicks could use more of given how easily Washington scored in the first half of Wednesday’s loss. A point about the defense that isn’t lost on Beasley.

“We’re not a team that really go blow-for-blow on the offensive side,” Beasley said. “We got to get stops and we got to get stops in a row for us to get a chance to win the game.”