PHOENIX -- Another game, another lesson in the continuing education of Rodrigue Beaubois.
The young man certainly filled up the stat sheet in an eventful 13 minutes, 10 seconds: 10 points (4-of-6 FGs, 2-of-3 on 3s), four rebounds, including one leaping high to snatch it from 6-foot-11 Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat, one assist, three turnovers and five fouls.
The Dallas Mavericks' starting shooting guard got off to another slow start as he had trouble sticking with Steve Nash and fighting through hard screens on the Suns' difficult pick-and-rolls. Coach Rick Carlisle had even sent J.J. Barea to the scorer's table just a couple of minutes in before rethinking the substitution.
When Beaubois did come out, he, Jason Kidd and assistant coach Dwane Casey huddled on the court during a timeout and engaged in an animated discussion about the events that had just unfolded.
"Great lesson," Kidd said. "He's going to go through his ups and downs. This is his training camp, preseason all wrapped into one. We're going to live with his mistakes and at the same time we have to stay positive with him and help him through those times when he's making a mistake or two."
So this time Beaubois' limited minutes were not a product of a Carlisle quick hook. In fact, the coach stuck with him after Beaubois picked up three fouls in the opening 1:58 of the third quarter to give him four for the game. It was a shame. The 6-foot-2 speedster had just started to make a real impact on the game, challenging the elder Nash with quick, shifty drives to the hole where he laid one in, then dropped in a 22-foot jumper followed by a3-pointer for seven points before five minute had elapsed in the period.
"I love the way he played he played in the second half. We got off to a very difficult start. He got off to a difficult start to the game," Carlisle said. "And the beginning of the second half, how does a young player respond to that? Is he tentative or does he play and get more aggressive? He hit three big shots for us, a couple of them were late [shot] clock, he made three tough defensive plays and his fifth foul was a hard, playoff foul.
"He's going through the ups and downs of playoff basketball. This is the best simulation of a playoff game you can have."
The fifth foul, a hard chop that sent Grant Hill to the free throw line also sent Beaubois, who said he tired while battling defensively in the post on several occasions, to the bench for good with still 6:37 left to go in the third quarter, a burgeoning game nipped in the bud. Beaubois showed a face of frustration during the string of three fouls as he tried to unsuccessfully fight through screens.
"I have to be careful. Sometimes they don't call it, but like [Sunday] this kind of foul they called it on me," Beaubois said. "When I see that they are going to call it, I just need to change the way I do it and when I am in that situation I have to be careful. Evey game I'm learning, so I just need to keep learning."