What can you take from an ugly whooping like this?
The Wolves were completely dominated in this game and Luke Ridnour got hurt. Kevin Love had fantastic numbers of 16 points and 16 rebounds and managed to have his time on the floor be a complete waste because he joined his other teammates in being extremely overmatched on the court at all times. Darko blocked a few shots in the opening minutes of the game before succumbing to a Houston attack he couldn’t begin to defend.
The Wolves got their teeth kicked in. And it’s okay. Not to go all Stuart Smalley on you but sometimes getting your teeth kicked in by a team that’s much better than you (even if the Rockets were winless in their first fives games) is something you can endure. This is going to happen to this team quite often this year. They have the worst rating differential in the NBA. They’re a good rebounding team at times and not so great at everything else.
But there has to be something to take away from this loss. It doesn’t really matter they were beaten by 26 in a game in which it was never really close. What matters is what we saw during the second quarter of this game with Michael Beasley.
I think if you’ve followed my thoughts on Twitter or the answers I’ve given on the Daily Dime Live, then you know I’m not big on Michael Beasley. The talent is absolutely there. He could be a number one guy on a good team. However, I’ve never been sold on his ability to make the right decision or play the right way. The Wolves don’t need the Beasley who breaks off plays in the triangle to take one dribble, pull-up jumpers.
The Wolves need the Beas who attacks the basket and is aggressive in a very focused way. Aggressive Beas is much more important than passive-aggressive Beas. Tonight, the Wolves got aggressive Beas and in the long run, it could completely pay off.
In the middle of arguably the best quarter Michael Beasley has had all season, an incident occurred. Beas had just attacked the basket on five out of his last six touches with the ball. He was being the good Beas. He was being aggressive. After a fastbreak alley-oop from Ridnour, this sequence happened.
For some reason, Pekovic thought this was grade school basketball and wanted a timeout to tie his shoe. Inexplicably when he didn’t get the timeout, he decided to tie his shoe instead of getting back on defense. Inevitably, his man (Yao Ming) beats him down the floor and gets the ball. Beasley is forced to foul Yao to prevent the basket as Pekovic finally crosses halfcourt.
This was Beasley’s third foul. He had to go sit down and watch his team continue to struggle.
What I love by Beas is the outburst after the play.
“Hey! Get back, man! God damn!”
Teams with no fight and players with no fight just accept plays like that as the norm. They don’t care if they get beat down the floor consistently, especially against a team like Houston who is playing at such a high pace. Teams like that just sit there and take it.
However, Beasley was not willing to accept that horrendous lack of judgment. Instead, he screams so loud the cameras can hear him. He calls Pek out for not being down there to guard his own man. He looks disgusted as he is forced to sub out of the game. When the game goes to timeout, he’s on Nikola again to let him know plays like that aren’t acceptable.
Beasley is probably the most vocal guy on the team. And while him being the most vocal guy while jacking up failures for shots in a passive-aggressive manner, when he’s playing like he did in the second quarter, you love this fire and intensity from him. Someone has to lead this team. If Beasley is setting a positive standard of play for the team (even if they’re getting humiliated) then this kind of leadership will eventually break through.
I don’t care the Wolves got destroyed tonight. I think the majority of us expected that to happen. I’m just happy I saw a positive sign for the future. It doesn’t change what Michael Beasley has been, and it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll realize his potential.
I’m just glad we got to see this side of him, even in a putrid loss.
That’s what you take from a game like this.