Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley hasn’t been especially productive at crunch time this season, which has resulted in him being benched by head coach Alvin Gentry. Beasley says he’s discouraged when he doesn’t play while the team loses. From the AZ Republic: “Beasley has sat out the entire fourth quarter in eight of 17 games so far with reasons varying from a rout to another player’s hot hand to a need for a better defensive player. Beasley’s fourth-quarter run in Philadelphia was the reason the Suns had a shot to tie, although he missed a late layup. Otherwise, his fourth-quarter play has been as sketchy as it is spotty. In 53 fourth-quarter minutes, Beasley has made eight of 32 shots. […] Beasley has said he was fine with sitting when the Suns won. How about in a loss? ‘Not good,’ Beasley said. ‘If I’ve got to sit in a trash can at the end of the bench during crunch time for us to win games, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do. But if we’re not winning games, and I feel like I can contribute, it’s just discouraging. We don’t have problems. I just feel like we could’ve won the game. I feel like I played, not well, but decent and definitely better than how I have been playing.’ For the season, Beasley has started off his three-year, $18 million contract by averaging 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. His 38.9 percent shooting is the worst of the Suns’ 10 rotation players, although he said a sore left pinkie has affected him all season. Beasley was considered the ‘X’ factor for the Suns’ playoff hopes. It is almost a surprise that they are even [7-11] with Beasley not living up to the starring role. ‘That’s what I’m still looking for,’ Beasley said. ‘That’s what is so frustrating and so disheartening. I want that role so bad. I feel like I am that player that we need. I haven’t had a chance, or maybe I haven’t taken the opportunity to show it.’ In most cases, the Suns simply need to be better defensively and turn to P.J. Tucker at small forward for important minutes.”
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