20130405_mbr_as8_243

Usually, I like to provide insights and color to player interviews. But let's just read the unvarnished transcript.

Reporter: "Mike, what's been the difference for you the last couple of games?"

Beasley: "Um, stop listening to people. Doing what I know how to do. That's really it. The more I listen to people, the more I got to think about. It messes me up trying to think about a thousand things. I stopped listening to people, started trusting my instincts again."

Reporter: "[stuttering]...uh... what did... err.. you mean media, or what people would you be referring to?"

Beasley: "Everybody."

Reporter: "Everybody?"

Beasley: "Everybody. I don't really read articles. But you know, just everybody. My friends, my family, teammates, coaches. Just everybody. Everybody telling me 'you need to do that' or 'do that' or this gets you open. I'm the one playing. I'm the one controlling my fate. It's just trusting my instincts, being aggressive and doing what I know best."

My friends, my family, teammates, coaches. Just everybody. -Beasley, on who he stopped listening to

Reporter: "You mentioned coaches in there. Aren't the coaches supposed to be trying to work with you, trying to help you and get in your comfort zone and so forth?"

Beasley: "Yeah, definitely, but at the same time I'm the one out there in the fire. You know what I'm saying? The coach can tell me what he sees from a third-party perspective, but I'm seeing it first hand. So once I set a screen and I roll and another guy steps up, if you don't step all the way up you get a jump shot or [unintelligible] you get JO a dunk. You know there's so many things that I can can do that only my instincts can tell me (finger snap) at a moments' notice."

----

Mind you, this was after interim head coach Lindsey Hunter praised Beasley's effort and attention over the past couple of weeks after regularly commenting on Beasley's lack thereof throughout the season.

Is it sustainable to stop listening to the coaches who have invested so much time and effort into him this season?

Probably not, if history is any indicator of the future.

But certainly, Hunter's style is to require players to pay attention. And Beasley's style is to appear he's not doing that. Whenever he has a good game (the handful this season) he's attributed his instincts and a clear mind to that success, rather than coaching or any influence outside himself.

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Isaiah Austin could be another name you start hearing more about in the coming mock drafts. He's a 19 year old 7'1" freshman center who is a skilled big man with tremendous potential, and helped his Baylor Bears win the NIT championship against Iowa with a full stat sheet that included 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Although Austin has so far been slated as a mid to late first round pick by most, his play in the NIT championship could boost his stock, along with the fact that bigs always rise just before the draft anyway. So who is Austin and what could he bring to a team like the Suns?

Stats:

Measurables:

  • Height: 7"1" (7'0" without shoes)
  • Weight: 220 lbs (when soaking wet)
  • Wingspan: 7'3"
  • Standing Reach: 9'3"

Strengths:

  • Tremendously skilled for a big man, very good ball handler and good court awareness
  • Can stretch the floor with mid-range and long range shooting out to the three point line
  • Good athlete
  • Blocks shots (Shows potential to improve as well)
  • Has decent moves to create shot and score

  • Decent rebounder

Weaknesses:

  • Very thin, will need to add substantial size in the NBA to play in the post
  • Plays passive at times
  • Inconsistent and has a tendency to disappear
  • Not a strong or aggressive player, a small forward in a center's body

My Take:

Isaiah Austin is an interesting prospect with loads of potential, but who so far has yet to show he can play at a high level on a consistent basis. Yes, he helped propel Baylor to a victory over Iowa in the NIT championship and filled up the stat sheet in doing so, but he has had his fair share of bad games lately as well. Against Providence in the second round of the tournament, Austin shot just 1-7 from the field and grabbed only two rebounds. He also has a terrible game against Oklahoma St. in the Big 12 championship where he went 0-6 from the field and scored only two points. As you can see, consistency is a very real issue.

Austin reminds me a lot of Perry Jones III, and not just because they both played for Baylor. They were both big men with games more suited for the small forward position, and were both very skilled offensively. The difference is, Perry Jones was much further along in his development when he was drafted after his sophomore year. Austin could really use another year of college to develop and prove that he belongs at the next level.

The problem is, if Austin decides to declare for the draft, and there's talk he might, NBA teams won't have the luxury of waiting and watching how he does next year, they'll have to gamble on his potential vs. his risks now. If he does enter the draft, he certainly won't be in the discussion with the Suns' first pick, but if they end up with the 14th pick from the Lakers, he may be considered.

Personally, I would pass on Austin with the 14th pick. There will still be plenty of other players with just as much potential (if not more) and who are already more proven as well. However, this changes if he slides to the end of the first round and the Suns end up with Miami's pick. In a draft short on quality big men I very much doubt this happens, but if it does, he suddenly becomes a much more attractive option.

    Poll
    Would you want the Suns to draft Isaiah Austin with their second pick in the first round of the draft?

      132 votes | Results

    PHOENIX – Where the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors began this season and where the teams stand now couldn’t have created a bigger fork in the road. Stephen Curry missed two late free...

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    Back in 2008 during the NBA Draft process a lot of pundits fell in love with the talent of Michael Beasley and dubbed him as the next Carmelo Anthony. Against the Dub's, Beasley flashed that ability again.

    He came out on fire nailing 9-12 shots in the first half with 21 points including a half-court three at the buzzer pacing the Suns 64 point first half and fueling what became a 15 point lead. The Suns were on cruise control.

    The problem was, they were on cruise control. As quickly as they took that impressive lead they gave it back with a 14 point third quarter. Goran Dragic and Beasley were the Suns offense scoring 44 of the teams 87 points through three quarters, but they could not get any help.

    After halftime the Suns came out flat defensively and the Warriors took advantage going 7-10 from three in the second half, lighting the Suns up.

    What was most alarming in the 111-107 loss was the fact that the Suns shot 38 times in the first half, Dragic and Beasley combined to take 19 of them for 40 points and a lead. In the second half the team took 34 shots, Dragic and Beasley combined for 10 shots and a four point loss.

    Dragic finished the night by matching his career-high of 32 points.

    Losing eight games in a row is a brutal feat for the Suns, even more so when you look at the rest of the league.

    Only the Charlotte Bobcats (18 and 10), Orlando Magic (12, 10, and 8), Detroit Pistons (10 and 8), Washington Wizards (12 and 8), Cleveland Cavaliers (10), and the New Orleans Hornets (11) have lost eight or more games this season.

    The Suns entered that elite company with tonight's loss to the Warriors.

    Going forward the Suns schedule does not get any easier outside of the Hornets this Sunday, the team hits the road for three straight that could cement this team in the annals of franchise history.

    Time: 7 p.m. MST TV: FSA The longest losing streak of the season is on deck for the Suns. Phoenix has lost seven in a row, and playing host Friday night to the Golden State Warriors, it will need...

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