Combo forward Michael Beasley has seemingly found a home with the Rockets after believing his shot at an NBA career had passed, David Aldridge of NBA.com writes. “I honestly thought the NBA, that chapter in my life was done,” Beasley told Aldridge. “You go through stages. You get depressed. You get angry. You break stuff. You cry. You’re angry again. You get optimistic. You cry again. Last summer was probably the longest summer of my life. All I could do was pray, wake up, put one foot in front of the other and take it day by day.”
The 27-year-old has appeared in 19 games for Houston this season and is averaging 12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per outing. He credits the coaching staff for much of his success, Aldridge adds. “That’s an example of everybody just letting me play my game,” Beasley said. “James Harden, [interim coach] J.B. [Bickerstaff], they put me in the right positions — really, my sweet spots, where I can be most effective. Really, I just came into it optimistically. I came into it with an open mind. I was just going to play hard and see what happened.”
Here’s more from out West:
- The Blazers surprised many around the league by earning a playoff berth this season, and the players point to Damian Lillard assuming the mantle of leadership last offseason as a major stepping stone in the process, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com relays. “I told everybody … ‘From this point on, we have to know that it’s Us against Everybody,’’’ Lillard said of a preseason speech he gave the team. “When a guy on our team is struggling, nobody on the outside is going to pick him up and lift him up, pull him up and be there for him. It has to be us. When it gets a little bit rough, we have to be there for each other. When we are successful, we have to keep each other in the right mind space so we keep doing the things that give us a chance to be successful.’’
- While the Nuggets only won 33 games and failed to make the playoffs, their season can be considered a success because the team stayed true to its plan to develop its younger talent and changed its overall culture for the better, opines Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.
- The Pelicans‘ training staff is likely to face scrutiny this offseason given the slew of injuries the team endured this season, though members of the organization insist no one is looking for a scapegoat, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com writes. “It’s been disappointing,” GM Dell Demps said. “We had a lot of high hopes coming into the season. And, obviously, not being at full strength has really … it’s been tough. It’s been tough on us. It’s been tough on the organization.“