Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin spoke to the press roughly 24 hours before Friday’s season-opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. At that point, the first-year shot-caller has yet to decide on who the fifth starter is going to be alongside Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez.
By the looks of things, however, it appears that summer recruit Malik Beasley is on track to secure the starting gig for Friday night.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Heaps Praise on Malik Beasley
While Griffin confirmed that the coaching staff has yet to come to a decision on the fifth starter, he did hint strongly that Beasley could be that guy:
“We’ve had him start some games, but (we’re) still evaluating that fifth spot,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But he’s definitely put as many things in his favor as far as buying into what we need him to do.
“That’s on both sides of the ball. It’s evident that his offense as far as his shooting capabilities fits nicely and compliments as as far as spacing the floor and keeping teams’ defense honest. Especially if they’re gonna put two or three bodies on Dame and Giannis, you need some shooting out there and he certainly provides that at a high level.”
Incoming second-year forward MarJon Beauchamp and veteran Pat Connaughton are the two players who are expected to challenge Beasley for the starting spot. However, it appears that it’s Beasley who’s going to get the nod against Philly.
Adrian Griffin Lauds Malik Beasley’s Defense
Griffin had a lot of nice things to say about what Beasley is able to bring on the offensive end. However, the rookie coach is adamant that Beasley’s core strength lies in his defense:
“What I’m most pleased with is his defense and the effort and intensity that he’s putting on the defensive end,” Griffin said. “… We’re gonna take our defense to the offense. We’re not gonna sit back, and that’s a little different style but he’s totally bought in. I could see him out there pressuring the ball. I can see him really taking focus on the defensive end.
“He’s definitely put himself in a position to deserve consideration for that starting spot.”
We shall all find out soon enough if Beasley has indeed done enough to earn that fifth starting spot, as well as whether or not he will be able to keep it.
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