With Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. out, Knicks F Michael Beasley has been thriving as he fills in for the team's top scorers.
Beasley, who refers to himself as a "walking bucket," lived up to that moniker against the Thunder on Saturday as he poured in a team-high 30 points to spoil Carmelo Anthony's return to Madison Square Garden. It was the second time he scored 30 points this season.
This was the type of production Beasley said he was capable in bringing to the Knicks, and he has been displaying it when the team is in desperate need of a playmaker.
"It just shows the resiliency, the perseverance of this team," Beasley told NY Daily News' Peter Botte. "It shows you that we've got a lot of guys who can step up and fill the void if needed -- me being one of them. I have to be me or remain me whether I play or not, whether I start or not, whether I play 30 seconds or 30 minutes.
"Every second on the floor counts while I'm out there, just trying to do what I have to do to the best of my ability."
Beasley didn't even see the floor in six of the team's first 18 games this season, but that has all been forgotten. With Porzingis' status for Monday night's contest against the Hornets listed as questionable, Beasley may see yet another start.
And with the way head coach Jeff Hornacek is talking about him, it should be expected.
"Mike's been fantastic," Hornacek said. "He's engaged in practice, he talks with the guys, he's a smart basketball player -- a smart person, anyway. You talk to him, you realize it. But he really understands the game and some of the stuff he does is just effortless.
"When he gets big minutes when KP's out, that gives him an opportunity to just kind of just go and we ask him, 'Hey, just be a scorer.' But (Saturday), I thought he wasn't just a scorer...He had a fantastic all-around game."
Beasley loved going up against Anthony -- a player he looked up to while growing up in the same area in Maryland. Melo had just 12 points in his first game back to MSG, and though Beasley outshined him, he had nothing but good things to say about the All-Star.
"For me, it's fun. This game, man, you've got to beat the best to be the best. He's one of the best of our era," said Beasley. "Melo was one of my favorite players growing up."
As Beasley has reiterated numerous times, he will continue to play to the best of his abilities no matter how many minutes he sees the hardwood. So far this season, he is averaging 16.5 minutes while netting 9.7 points and 3.7 rebounds over that span.