I have no shame in admitting that Michael Beasley was probably my favorite player on the Houston Rockets last season. At times, he looked like the team’s second best player. I tweeted sometime late in the year, when the “tank or playoffs?” debate was raging, that I wanted the Rockets to make the postseason for no other reason than to ensure four more games of watching Beasley. I was only partially kidding. Yes, I had given up on the year, but there were times when I’d flip away to a different channel unless Beasley was playing. I found him that entertaining.
On Thursday, Houston traded Beasley to the Milwaukee Bucks for guard Tyler Ennis in a deal that made perfect sense, despite the fact that I and everyone else I know hated it. Beasley was the only other player on the team, besides Harden, who could create his own shot. I noticed, along with many of you, that he seemed to be, strangely, the only player to whom Harden at times, would willingly defer. With his mid-range shooting, ball handling, and ability to punish smaller defenders on the block, the Beasley-Harden pick and roll was a glimpse of hope the team seemed to stumble upon accidentally, and didn’t utilize nearly enough (because, of course…). Before the Ryan Anderson signing, many of us hoped that combination might be a weapon heading into next season that a better tactician might have been able to utilize.