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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-09-19

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-09-19

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-09-19Even with Michael Beasley forced to shift from an outpatient program to an inpatient program in Houston due to another slip-up in the NBA's substance-abuse program, Heat President Pat Riley still expects increased productivity this season from the second-year forward.

"He could be a major factor for our team," Riley said. "I'm going to continue to show that kind of belief and faith in him."

Riley said the goal remains for Beasley "to play a prominent role, a bigger role than he played last year."

The question now is whether Beasley will remain solely a power forward, as was the case last season, when he played almost exclusively off the bench after the first month of the season, or whether he will also spend minutes at small forward, as had been the plan entering the offseason.

Although Beasley was moved to the inpatient facility, the Heat was allowed to send trainers and coaches to work with the forward in a gym there. However, those sessions did not include teammates or other players, limiting Beasley to drill work.

While Riley stressed continued patience, he said he also expected team rules to be followed and expectations to be met.

"I'm not going to forgive anybody's transgressions just merely because they're 20 years old," he said. "I think when you become a professional basketball player, a lot of things come at you a lot quicker than normal. There's a lot of things you may be able to handle or not handle."

For now, Riley is in second-chance mode, even though Beasley routinely was fined last season for violating team rules.

"We all have periods where things haven't gone our way for whatever reason," Riley said, "and we've all had an opportunity to grow. Because of what's happened in the past, we hope there's growth spurts for him."

For Beasley, the opportunity to play, or even start, at small forward could come down to how the competition at the position fares.

James Jones, who closed last season as the starter at the position, said he is over last season's wrist problem and has been credited by Riley with a strong showing in the team's offseason program.

Offseason acquisition Quentin Richardson, defensive stopper Yakhouba Diawara and underachieving Dorell Wright also are roster candidates for playing time at small forward.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 19, 2009


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