If Michael Beasley keeps playing like this, the only thing he will be punching from now on is a ticket to the Heat’s final 15-man roster.
For the second night in a row, Beasley showcased his offensive skills off the bench while also doing the little things expected of a player with a nonguaranteed contract trying to make a team. Friday’s stop in the Beasley Preseason Redemption Tour was Kansas City, where the Heat defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 86-75 in front of a packed house of 18,770 at the beautiful Sprint Center.
Before the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra came as close as he has all preseason to conceding that Beasley is a lock to make the team. Spoelstra called Beasley “family” but stopped short when asked directly if Beasley would make the team.
“We’ll see,” Spoelstra said.
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Beasley entered the game with 3:33 left in the first quarter before quickly making his first four attempts. His fourth shot was a three-pointer 50 seconds into the second period. He finished with 13 points in 19 minutes, going 5 of 11 from the field, and said he felt fine one night after beating himself up (literally) about a mistake he made on the court.
Against the Pistons, Beasley punished himself for an offensive mistake by punching himself repeatedly in the side of the head during the game. Afterwards, he received treatment for swelling above his eyebrow and acknowledged hurting himself. On Friday, the Heat and Beasley said the bruise was due to an elbow from Jonas Jerebko.
“I watched the video and it does look like I knocked myself out,” Beasley said before Friday’s game. “I had everybody in the world calling me and asking, ‘Why you so crazy?’”
Beasley, the Heat’s No. 2 overall pick in 2008, is back with the team after unsuccessful stints with Minnesota and Phoenix.
“I’m coming into a delicate situation,” Beasley said. “It’s not pressure, but it is a little more to think about. I don’t want to be the reason the ship falls. I’m definitely taking it more serious than my first two years.”
LeBron James led the Heat with 20 points, going 8 of 14 from the field. Norris Cole had 15 points and Mario Chalmers had 10. The Heat is 3-0 this preseason and plays at Washington on Tuesday and at Brooklyn on Thursday.
Of note: Charlotte forward Al Jefferson left the game in the second half with what looked like a significant injury to his right knee.
Dwyane Wade sat out Friday one night after making his preseason debut in Detroit. Taking care to avoid injury while working himself back into basketball shape, Wade has now skipped two of the Heat’s first three preseason games. He played 21 minutes on Thursday and had eight points.
“I’m just trying to get my rhythm back and my legs and my wind and just trying to get back,” Wade said. “You understand that at this time I’m not going to feel 100 percent. I will never ever feel 100 percent again but I know that I’m going to get better as it goes on with the procedures that I got — get healthy as time goes on.”
Wade had OssaTron shock wave therapy on his knee this offseason to promote healing. He played in the 2013 postseason despite deep bone bruises in his knee and chronic discomfort related to arthritis.
“I’m where I should be right now and that’s a good thing,” Wade said. “I came out of last night un-bruised and had a good 20 minutes and I’m going to sit out this back-to-back and I’ll be ready for the next game.”
Of the players currently receiving regular minutes, Chris Andersen, Shane Battier and Roger Mason Jr. also sat out on Friday. It was Mason’s second game of inactivity. The Heat said he was resting do to general soreness. Chalmers, James, James Jones, Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh started the game.