"Only 27 minutes?" Dirk hollered across the locker room, making sure a handful of reporters heard him. "That means he has a great practice in him tomorrow!"
The Mavs' 91-82 win over the Indiana Pacers wasn't pretty, but it was comfortable enough for Kidd to rest the entire fourth quarter while rookie Rodrigue Beaubois got valuable on-the-job experience running the point.
Beaubois, who hadn't played since the All-Star break, finished with six points on 2-of-8 shooting, three rebounds, two assists and no turnovers. Rick Carlisle, who wasn't in a great mood after the game, complimented Beaubois' energy.
"He came in and was ready to play," Jason Terry said. "He pushed the ball, pushed the tempo. He still made some rookie mistakes, but that's to be expected."
Beaubois' development is a long-term issue. Managing Kidd's minutes is a more pressing concern at the moment, especially with the 36-year-old playing 40-plus minutes the previous three games. Kidd has logged more minutes this season than any other point guard in the league.
"It helps tremendously," Carlisle said. "Jason has really been willing our team to some of these victories. He just has driven himself hard. He’s driving our team hard. Every minute he plays, he’s playing at a higher octane than most guys."
Every minute Kidd rests might pay dividends down the stretch this season.