Czar Star: Michael Beasley

Change is proving good for Michael Beasley. The newest member of the Timberwolves is demonstrating the offensive prowess that on- and off-court issues mitigated in Miami. Over the summer the Heat traded Beasley to the Timberwolves to clear up cap space for the Superfriends, and so far Minnesota is shaping up to be an altogether better situation for Beasley.

A prolific scorer out of Kansas State, Beasley was drafted 2nd overall by the Heat in 2008. But during his stay with Miami, they moved Beasley back and forth between both the small forward and power forward positions in trying to determine where they felt he would be most effective. No doubt local distractions also contributed to inconsistencies in Beasley’s game.

However in Minnesota, Kevin Love is locked in as the power forward and Darko Milicic is starting at center, so Beasley’s role is clear-cut. Beasley will get plenty of playing time so he’ll have the opportunity to grow into his small forward position while he continues to mature. With LeBron and Bosh joining Wade, Beasley would not have gotten the minutes in Miami that he needs to develop and flourish. And now that expectation levels are so high in Miami, it’s probably not the most nurturing environment for a young guy coming up in the league.

As part of an up-and-coming squad, Beasley and his teammates can grow together. Beasley, Love and Flynn form a great core of burgeoning talent. Emerging as the go-to-guy on offense, Beasley scored a career-high 42 points against the Kings earlier this month. And on Wednesday he went for 33 points against the Clippers and hit the winning shot to get Minnesota their fourth win of the season.

A top rebounder and low post scorer capable of putting up 25-30+ points nightly, Beasley can also make medium range shots on a regular basis. He drives and slashes, and he gets to the free throw line. So as long as he remains healthy, Beasley will always be a scorer in the NBA.

Gameday Dish: Mike and Marv call Heat-Spurs on NYE

Dick Clarke doesn’t have anything on Marv and me. We’ll be ringing in the new decade watching two of the most prominent players of the last ten years face off: Dwyane Wade and Tim Duncan.

Wade’s supporting cast has taken a step forward this year with the addition of a revived Jason Richardson and much improved play from Michael Beasley, while the Spurs are just beginning to show the signs of a team that many predicted would challenge the Lakers for the top spot in the West. Though the Spurs have yet to prove themselves against teams with winning records (they’ve only beat Dallas and Houston), I expect we’ll see them continue their recent run and play their best ball in the second half of the season.

Duncan is still playing at an all-world level, Ginobli and Parker are returning to full strength, and Jefferson, McDyess, and impressive rookie DeJuan Blair are becoming more comfortable in Pop’s system. And just in case watching Wade and Duncan isn’t compelling enough, I’m sure you’ll want to tune in and find out which tie the fans selected for me to wear during tonight’s broadcast? And will Marv don a Tux? Tune in to TNT at 7 p.m.  ET to find out.