Nets' defensive adjustments provide problems for Beasley

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Michael Beasley griped about some calls, tumbled after missing layups, then shook his head in disappointment after a rebound bounced off his outstretched hands.

His first summer league game drew raves.

In his second, well, Beasley looked like a rookie again.

One day after scoring 28 points in his much-hyped debut, Beasley returned to earth Tuesday, finishing with only nine points in Miami's 90-81 summer league win over New Jersey. The second overall pick in last month's draft was a mere mortal, missing all but one of his 13 shots from the field and collecting nearly as many fouls (seven, there's no automatic disqualification in summer league) as he did points.

"You can't have a great game every night," Beasley said. "But that wasn't a bad game, though. We still won."

Beasley might have left the game hurting physically -- he had to ditch the thick pad he donned at the start of the game to protect his cracked sternum because it impaired his movement, then got kicked in the left shin during a third-quarter collision and sported a large ice pack on that leg after the game.

But if his spirit was dampened by a 1-for-13 effort, a far cry from what he did in Miami's win over No. 1 pick Derrick Rose and Chicago in Monday's opener, he didn't let it show.

"I feel exactly the same. I'm happy," Beasley said. "My team's happy. Coach is happy. We won. They lost. I don't see any difference."

Mario Chalmers had 19 points and nine assists, Anthony Morrow had 19 points and Kasib Powell scored 17 for the Heat, who closed the game on a 16-6 run. Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson each scored 18 for New Jersey.

The Heat moved to 2-0 in the five-games-in-five-days event.

Beasley was 0-for-9 in the first half with five fouls and five turnovers. Many of his shots bounced off the front of the rim, he seemed increasingly frustrated with calls going against him and pleaded his case to the Heat bench after being whistled for a defensive three-second violation.

"It wasn't exactly my best performance," Beasley conceded.

He missed his first shot of the second half, too, before finally connecting on a 3-pointer from the left wing midway through the third quarter. It was his lone basket in 27 minutes.

"It's a humbling experience," Heat summer league coach Keith Askins said. "He came out and the thing I told him was, 'Let's see how good you are when they can prepare for you.'"

New Jersey was prepared for him, and Beasley knew it -- really knew it. See, the Heat inadvertently went into the wrong locker room before the game and saw New Jersey's notes scribbled on a board in their dressing room.

"He saw everything on the board was about him," Askins said.

Beasley often talks about how the game has always come easily to him; hence the "B-Easy" nickname, which is tattooed on his right shoulder.

But not everything in the NBA will be a cakewalk, and if Beasley didn't know that before, he learned that lesson Tuesday.

"Every part of my game needs to get stronger," Beasley said.

Beasley is starting to learn another lesson about the NBA: Even in summer league, where the rosters are mostly composed of players hoping to be rookies next season, first-year pros don't get every call.

Fouls have been a bit of an issue for Beasley so far in Orlando. He picked up three quick ones in Monday's win over the Bulls, and he heard plenty of whistles blowing in his direction Tuesday.

He might play defense like a rookie, but he can question calls like a seasoned veteran.

"When you get tackled on one end and touch somebody with your pinky finger on the other, it kind of gets frustrating," he said.

Against Chicago, Beasley had most of his success by getting the ball on the right side of the line, squaring up, then taking a hard dribble to the left and driving past whomever was guarding him, usually Tyrus Thomas or Joakim Noah.

So the Nets did what any team with a scouting report would do and took that away, forcing Beasley to the right and out of his comfort zone.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he has no doubt Beasley can quickly adjust, at both ends of the floor.

"This is what summer is about, learning our system and learning our defensive system because it always starts with that," Spoelstra said. "You can impact a game in many different ways. It's not always how many points you score."