The Oklahoma City Thunder Should Target Michael Beasley At The NBA Trade Deadline

Throughout this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder have implemented an offensive system that is centered around the pick and roll and post-ups for the second unit. For instance, the point guard would bring the ball up to the three-point line and then a big man would set a screen. Once the pick was set the point guard would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, the point guard would go over it and take the wide-open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, the point guard would go over it as well and drive towards the basket where he would score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not.

However, there are occasions when the Oklahoma City Thunder will send a big man in the low block to post up. For instance, the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to a big man in the low post area. Once that happens, the big man will attempt to back down the defender with one of his shoulders to get within comfortable range to shoot a jump hook. Another example of this is when the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to another perimeter player. The second perimeter will either dump the ball into the post or give it to a third perimeter player, and he will throw it into the low to mid-block to start the process of attempting to get a jump hook. Unfortunately, the second unit for the Thunder is struggling to score points as they’re currently 28th in the league in bench scoring averaging 24.9 points per game.

As a result of this, the team should target a Michael Beasley trade at the NBA trade deadline. This is because Beasley has been primarily known for his ability to score the basketball in various ways like post-ups. For instance, when Michael Beasley receives the ball in the mid to low post he likes to shoot a turn around jumper, face up to shoot over the defender or face up to drive to the basket and shoot a layup. Not only can Beasley score in the post but he has also shown the ability to score as the screen in the pick and roll.  For instance, if his defender decides to come up and defend the point guard, Mike will roll to the basket to shoot a layup or dunk the ball.  On the other hand, if his defender decides to stay back he will pop out to the three-point line to act like he is going to shoot, but once the ball is in his hands, he drives.

In conclusion,  Michael Beasley’s skill set is a perfect fit with the Thunder’s system which can immediately help the team’s bench scoring. As a result, Billy Donovan can afford to give his superstars more rest because he won’t have to worry about the bench, not scoring points. Furthermore, the team does not have to worry about being in a long-term commitment with Beasley as he is on a one-year deal.

Jimmy Garoppolo Will Do More Harm Than Good To The San Francisco 49ers

Earlier this week, there were several reports that the San Francisco 49ers had acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers traded a “2018 2nd-round draft pick to New England for Patriots’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo”. Although Garoppolo joining the team seems like a move that would help the team ahead in the right direction, that is not necessarily the case.

Throughout the first two games of last season, the New England Patriots coaching staff knew that the opposing team would stack the box in an attempt to shut down the running game. This defensive strategy was implemented to see if Jimmy Garoppolo could put the offense on his shoulders and carry the team to victory. Unfortunately, the Patriots had a different plan in mind as they implemented a game plan where Garoppolo was in charge of handing the ball off and throwing quick passes. For instance, during the first half against the Cardinals, the Patriots called a bunch of passing plays centered around slant routes, out routes, routes to the flats and screens. These plays are quick to develop and allow the team to exploit a tiny window where the receivers have one or two steps on the defenders. This is because defenders aren’t used to back peddling for more than five to ten steps hence they have to take one or two steps to turn their body around.

Furthermore, these plays allowed the team to reduce the amount of pressure, hits, and sacks he received from the opposing team; because the defense didn’t have enough time to get to the offensive line. Another benefit to running a conservative offense is that the Patriots gave their defense a chance to rest between possessions. According to teamrankings.com, over the first two games of the regular season, the offense was on the field for 35:22 which means that the defense was only on the field for 24:38. As a result, they were in a better position to make a defensive stop because the unit isn’t fatigued.

However, it will be an entirely different story for Jimmy Garoppolo during his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers. This is because Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch want to give Garoppolo as many opportunities as possible to prove that trading a 2nd round pick and negotiating a long-term extension is the right decision. Due to this, the team would call a lot of passing plays to give him a chance to demonstrate that he isn’t just a game manager and is capable of making all the necessary throws to lead the team to victory. While it is reasonable to expect an organization to give their new investment many opportunities to prove themselves at a certain point, it will affect the performance of the rest of the team. For instance, if Garoppolo gets the chance to throw a lot, the offense will spend less time on the field because of incompletions, interceptions, sacks or big plays that result in short drives. As a result, the defense would have to go back on the field without the proper amount of rest which leads to the unit being more susceptible to giving up yards and points. Since they would be unable regain some energy between possessions to be able to stop the opposing offense.

In conclusion, the constant evaluation process to determine whether Garoppolo is a franchise quarterback will elevate his statistics; but will hurt overall team success causing them to miss the playoffs for multiple seasons.