Anyone who has watched the Los Angeles Lakers over the last couple months has been able to note Michael Beasley and his impact on the team — especially in comparison to the player he’d be taking minutes from in the rotation, Lance Stephenson.
So when Beasley walked off the court holding his hand during the Lakers’ 113-95 loss to the Utah Jazz, breaths were held around the organization and fan base alike.
Fortunately for all, x-rays to this point returned negative.
When Luke Walton was asked after the game about what Beasley offers, he pointed out what everyone watching should have noticed. (via Spectrum Sportsnet):
“He’s been great. It’s been big time for us with the other injuries that we have someone we can rely on to go get us consistent points. He had stepped into that role really nice (and) he was starting to get his wind back a little bit, so hopefully it’s nothing too serious because we need him right now.”
Walton is absolutely right. With LeBron James held out for at least another week or so, the Lakers are going to need all the efficient scoring they can come by. It’d be one thing if there was another veteran scorer they could consistently rely on, but as that person has so far been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, they’ll need more.
This isn’t just about Beasley’s scoring, either. He operates in a way that the Lakers will need their non-LeBron role players to. He typically uses only a couple dribbles and makes decisions quickly enough to force the opposing defenses into even more awkward situations than the Lakers’ primary creators. Given how long the Lakers have taken this season to get into their sets, this is an invaluable ability.
While it’s great news to hear Beasley hasn’t broken his hand, the Lakers aren’t quite out of the woods yet, as they learned with Rajon Rondo’s sprained finger. Sprains tend to be harder to spot, so here’s hoping those tests come back negative as well.