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Fountain of Youth: Jason Kidd's injury is good news?

2/1/2012

Our weekly look at the Mavericks' young players:

Whether Jason Kidd's second injury of the season is truly a blessing in disguise, as Jason Terry put it, might have to be answered by Kidd. Yet, even he acknowledged that being forced to the sideline will give Rodrigue Beaubois a chance to play prime point guard minutes he might otherwise not be afforded.

That is true. Beaubois has logged 24, 36 and 36 minutes in the last three games, respectively with Kidd nursing a strained left calf. Prior to Kidd's injury that took him out of Friday's game barely two minutes into it, Beaubois, averaging 16.9 minutes, had logged 20 or more minutes three times all season. He's getting valuable court time in a variety of pressure situations, such as Sunday's overtime win against the Spurs in which he made crucial plays late at both ends.

"It was great for Roddy Beaubois to be in the situation he was [Sunday night], a playoff-type atmosphere," Terry said. "Those are experiences you're only going to get in a game. He'll learn and grow from it."

Beaubois passed a tough test against the Spurs' Tony Parker and tonight he gets Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, arguably the game's most explosive guard at getting to the rack.

As for the other member of the French Connection, center Ian Mahinmi, could he be slowing down just a tad? Since his 17-point, nine-rebound game against Phoenix on January 23, he has matched his longest streak of the season, four games, without scoring in double figures. His minutes are right about at his season average, but he's averaged just five points in those four games with a field-goal percentage of just 42.1 (8-of-19), well below his 62.1 percent season average. And, he's made just 4-of-10 free throws.

Then again, his rebounds are up a tick to 6.0 a game in the last four-game stretch.

Other Mavs youngsters such as Brandan Wright and Yi Jianlian received some extra minutes during Dirk Nowitzki's four-game absence, but since then neither has found much of place in hearty matchups against the likes of the Spurs, and that would likely include little to no playing time -- unless foul trouble dictates otherwise -- tonight against the Thunder.