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Thursday (Michael Beasley and Ricky Davis) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Sports Updated: February 24, 2011 - 9:13 AM

We had already been thinking a little too much about Ricky Davis lately. The former Wolves player -- acquired in the middle of the 2005-06 season after years of dogged pursuit by then-boss Kevin McHale -- spent 1.5 decent but largely forgettable seasons here. He was in the front part of our brain because Minnesota's pursuit and ultimate acquisition of Anthony Randolph reminded us a little of the Davis situation, though to a lesser degree.

But then we had to turn on the TV last night to catch bits and pieces of another dreadful performance by the local NBA team. We really can't believe this is the same squad that was a play or two down the stretch from beating a lot of very good teams in the first 40 or so games this season -- a team that was in almost every game and functioned like a promising NBA squad.

In watching the game, we saw Michael Beasley had eschewed his normal cornrows and gone with a lion-like mane. Don't get us wrong -- it looked fairly awesome. But with Davis already on the brain -- Ricky occasionally let it all hang out as well, as you can see by that excellent picture with Mark Madsen -- our mind took that image and started to wander toward wondering if Beasley's career trajectory and game were unfortunately aligned with those of Davis.

Both guys can fill up a box score, though at least in the pros that hasn't translated very often into victories (yes, Beasley's sample size is still small). The statistical history, in fact, remembered Davis' one full season here more fondly than we did: 17 ppg, 46 percent shooting, 84 percent free throws, nearly 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Sounds like a decent No. 2 guy to go with KG that season, right -- especially when three other guys averaged double-figures. But that team only won 32 games. And KG was traded. And here we are.

Beasley has had some monster games this season, counting six 30-plus point games and one 40-plus game among the 22 times he's topped at least 20. Seems like a nice guy to pair offensively with Kevin Love. He's also an outstanding quote and seems to be a genuinely likable person.

But on any given night, he seems just as likely to give you 14 points on 17 field goal attempts, as he did in that loss to Memphis on Wednesday. Your Wolves are now 13-45 -- actually worse than last season. On Feb. 23 one year ago, the Wolves defeated the Heat to improve to 14-44 through 58 games. Beasley, then playing for Miami, was 5-for-18 from the field and scored 14 points in the 91-88 loss.

We want to believe Beasley, who still averages close to 20 ppg this season even as his productivity has dipped while he battles a pesky ankle injury, is a legitimate scorer on a contending team. As such, we anxiously await the debunking in the comments of any comparisons to Davis that go beyond a follicle-based coincidence.


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