NBA A to Z: Is Michael Beasley ready to help the Heat? | Detroit Free Press |

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NBA A to Z: Is Michael Beasley ready to help the Heat?


For the first four games of the season, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra kept forward Michael Beasley glued to the bench.

Four games for the Heat, four Did Not Play — Coach’s Decision lines for Beasley.

But with big man Chris Bosh out against the Toronto Raptors because of the birth of his daughter and the Heat trailing 33-25 Tuesday, Spoelstra put Beasley in the game for the first time this season.

In his first 74 seconds, Beasley took and made two three-pointers. About a minute later, he blocked a shot. Spoelstra removed Beasley from the game after 3 minutes, 59 seconds, and Beasley never played again.

He finished six points on 2-for-4 shooting and one block in limited minutes. It was a fine stretch of basketball for a guy looking to save his NBA career. The Heat needed Beasley for a few minutes, and he delivered.

Just 24, he has been a double-digit scorer during his five-year career. His talent is obvious. His work ethic and commitment to the game are not, and that’s why — along with off-court distractions — the Phoenix Suns got rid him after last season.

It’s why the Heat are making Beasley work for his minutes. They want to make sure he is as committed to winning an NBA championship as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Bosh and everyone else on the roster.

The Heat are making Beasley, who started his career with Miami, earn his stay with the team. He is on a non-guaranteed deal so the Heat lose little if they have to cut him.

He’s making very good progress, Spoelstra said recently. He just needs to continue to embrace the work (and) embrace the routine.

But Miami also realizes it needs a committed Beasley. Winning three consecutive titles is extremely difficult, and the Heat know several teams in the East — the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets — improved and are prepared and capable of knocking them off in a seven-game series.

Down the road, Spoelstra will start working him into the rotation more and more.

He has earned the opportunity to be ready for his next opportunity, Spoelstra said.

It can be a win-win for both sides. The Heat have a better shot at winning a third consecutive title if Beasley can contribute, and Beasley can save his career by following instructions. The Heat need Beasley, and Beasley needs the Heat.

It’s up to Beasley to make it work.


Vermont and Maine are not exactly considered the cradle of coaches for the NBA.

However, two guys in their first year at the helm — the Charlotte Bobcats’ Steve Clifford and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Brett Brown — are from Vermont and Maine, and both are the sons of coaches.

But that’s not their only connection. They are friends, and Clifford worked for Bob Brown — a regional coaching legend and member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame — at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Clifford even lived at Bob Brown’s house for a short time.

He’s a very close friend of ours, Brown said.

(Clifford was hospitalized Thursday night with chest pains and has since had surgery to add two stents to his heart but is recovering well, according to the team.)

USA TODAY Sports sat down with Brown earlier this week at the Sixers’ practice facility, and here are more nuggets from that meeting:

в?ў Pace. Brown wants to run, beat opponents down the floor and score easy baskets. But he acknowledges it’s not easy to run, echoing comments by Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale from last season.

It is beyond difficult. It’s such an easy phrase to say. It just rolls off your lips, he said. But people don’t understand. Everybody wants to run. It’s hard to run. It’s really hard to run over 82 games. That’s still the plan. There’s just a lot that goes on.

Brown also said it’s more than just the number of possessions per game, and the Sixers are second in the league in possessions per game at 105.38, just behind the Golden State Warriors.

It’s not about possessions because sometimes that can equate to bad, quick shots. It’s not just a raw number. There’s a human element that has to creep in to determine good shot, bad shot, time and score, all those things that’s coaching. It’s just not numbers.

в?ў Brown is an avid outdoorsman — specifically, a fly-fisherman and camping enthusiast. He spent 14 seasons in Australia and has fished some of the best brown trout waters in Australia and New Zealand.

Stunning, stunning scenery, and great trout fishing, Brown said. But Maine is still the best. I grew up in a trout fishing family. We tie our own flies. We’ve made our own rods.

One of his last vacations before heading to Philadelphia for the season was in the deep woods of Maine, and it required a two-hour boat ride to reach his location.


в?ў Dallas Mavericks second-year forward Jae Crowder has made himself a valuable rotation player in coach Rick Carlisle’s system with his three-point shooting. Crowder has made 13 of 19 threes (68.4%) and is averaging 10.6 points in 17.2 minutes a game.

в?ў Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett, who has struggled with health (asthma and sleep apnea) and conditioning early in the season, scored his first basket of the season Wednesday after missing his first 16 attempts.

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в?ў Speaking of firsts, first-year Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens registered his first win, a 97-87 victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.


One of the more intriguing statistical features to hit the NBA in years is available for fans to peruse.

It’s called SportVU. Using six cameras installed above every NBA floor, SportVU software tracks the movement of every player on the court and the basketball 25 times per second and provides data to teams and league.

Here are just a couple numbers that generate interest:

в?ў Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons travels 2.7 miles per game at an average speed of 4.4 mph. Three Los Angeles Clippers — Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are in the top five in distance traveled per game.

в?ў SportVu also records secondary assists. otherwise known as hockey assists — the pass that leads to the pass that ends with an assist. Milwaukee Bucks rookie point guard Nate Wolters leads the league in 3.3 secondary assists a game followed by Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (three a game).

в?ў In the touches/possessions category, Paul leads the league in time of possession per game. He is in control of the ball 7.5 minutes a game. Wall is second at 7.2 minutes a game. Miami Heat forward LeBron James has the ball 4.1 minutes a game.


NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn’s office has been busy. The league has issued two suspensions, three fines and six flop warnings through the first 10 days of the season.


в?ў Rockets forward Chandler Parsons has strong comments about his team’s performance in Sam Amick’s USA TODAY Sports report from Houston’s 99-98 home loss against the Los Angeles Lakers.

в?ў Check out Selena Robert’s thoughtful story at Sports On Earth on fatherhood in relation to LeBron James’ new Samsung commercial. James has done a wonderful job bringing family and friends into his Samsung commercials and showing a side in which people can relate. His two sons steal the show in the latest spot.


Charles Barkley, talking on TNT after the Los Angeles Clippers’ loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday: The Clippers are softer than tissue paper. They’ve got the toughness of a flea and the toughest guy on their team is 5-7 (Paul). They are soft and they’re only going to go as far as Blake and DeAndre take them.

Jeff Zillgitt covers the NBA for USA TODAY Sports alongside Sam Amick. They trade off weekly NBA A to Z and also do Spreecast live chats and more. Send them questions on Twitter at @JeffZillgitt and @Sam_Amick .

Copyright 2013

Jeanneau Prestige 42 Fly boat
Jeanneau Prestige 42 Fly boat

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