In the Milwaukee Bucks’ preseason opener, Malik Beasley started for the team with several other key pieces out of the lineup.
The two guard played well, clocking in 13 points on 50 percent shooting in just under 22 minutes of action. He also dished out four assists and tallied two steals. While he played well offensively, Head Coach Adrian Griffin made an intriguing statement after the game involving Beasley on the defensive end, speaking on what kind of role the shooting guard could play moving forward.
"“He’s going to have to take the toughest assignments most nights.”"
For good reason, this remark caught the attention of Milwaukee Bucks fans everywhere.
Coach Griffin makes head-turning statement about Bucks’ Malik Beasley
When the Milwaukee Bucks signed Malik Beasley during the NBA off-season, they likely were not expecting him to be the player who takes on the toughest defensive assignments very often. He’s never been known for his defense, as it’s been his electric 3-point shooting that has kept Beasley employed throughout his career. Yet, Griffin seems to believe something is there.
Coach Griffin has always been a defensive-minded leader, so it’s not surprising to see him try to establish that type of mindset in Milwaukee, even with players who are not known as outstanding defenders. This statement could very well be Griffin’s way of trying to push Beasley to improve on that side of things, as he’ll look to bring the best out of him nightly.
These comments seemingly hint that Beasley could have the inside track when it comes to the open starting shooting guard slot in Milwaukee, as a bench piece likely would not be matching up with the toughest defensive assignment. On paper, a backcourt of Beasley and Damain Lillard is not ideal defensively, but if Beasley can take strides, it would certainly help the pairing succeed.
Ultimately, this feels like a challenge on Coach Griffin’s part. With his defensive background, he is likely going to want everyone to put forth their best effort defensively. It will be interesting to see if Beasley is up for it. Despite these comments, it feels like Jae Crowder, MarJon Beauchamp, and Andre Jackson Jr. may be the three players who take on tougher defensive matchups more often.
Yet, if Beasley can indeed become a reliable two-way player, it would make the Bucks’ signing of him even better than it already is.
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