- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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LOS ANGELES – Rodrigue Beaubois had a deer-in-the-headlights look the last time the Mavericks played the Lakers.
It took a garbage-time bucket for Beaubois to avoid a scoreless night in the Mavs’ March 12 loss. He had two points, no assists and two turnovers in 14 minutes.
“It wasn’t a good night for me,” said Beaubois, whose minutes have been limited by foul trouble in the last two games. “I couldn’t make a shot. I just need to be aggressive and we’ll see what happens.
“I just have to be more focused. I’ve got to be more aggressive and just play. Obviously, it’s a higher type of basketball game.”
Beaubois, whom Rick Carlisle was hesitant to play against good competition as a rookie, has come up small against the West’s two best teams this season. He scored eight points on 4-of-11 shooting in the Mavs’ recent loss to the Spurs.
But owner Mark Cuban doesn’t consider that a trend worth worrying about. He believes Beaubois, who had 16 points in 21 minutes to fuel a Game 6 comeback in his only extended playoff playing time last year, can score in bunches against the Lakers.
“If he’s having a good game, they can’t match up with us,” Cuban said, well aware that 36-year-old Derek Fisher would draw the defensive assignment against Beaubois. “No one’s going to stay in front of him.”
Cuban described Beaubois as “anxious” in his couple of games against elite opponents this season. Beaubois acknowledged it’d be nice from a mental standpoint if he could play well against this kind of competition before the playoffs, but the Mavs aren’t worried about the kid suffering from a bruised ego.
“Confidence is not an issue for Roddy,” Cuban said, laughing a little.
Performance against the West’s best has been an issue for Roddy B. If he’s focused and aggressive, maybe that changes tonight at the Staples Center.