DeShawn Stevenson ready for challenge
Stevenson, who has never advanced past the first round in his career, will open tonight's first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers starting at shooting guard. He played all of six minutes in six games last year against the San Antonio Spurs, and until Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle pulled the plug on Beaubois as a starter in the regular-season finale -- Beaubois then sprained his left foot in an appearance off the bench -- Stevenson didn't figure to be called on much this postseason either.
All that has changed. He'll likely match his playoff minutes from a year ago during his first stint on the floor tonight, tasked with defending Portland shooting guard and second-leading scorer Wesley Matthews (15.9 ppg), the team's top 3-point marksman (40.7 percent).
"My job is to lock down until Jet [Jason Terry] gets in there," Stevenson said. "Hit open shots, guard Matthews, maybe even [Andre] Miller and give some free time for J-Kidd [Jason Kidd], and that's what I'm going to do -- just be a wild man out there."
Stevenson filled a significant void for the first couple of months of the season with Beaubois out with the broken foot. When Beaubois returned in mid-February, it was Stevenson who saw his minutes sacrificed. Stevenson said he understood and continued to prepare each day as though he were playing.
"It wasn't tough," Roddy was a big focal point of this team and at the end of the day they know I can come in and do what I do and at the same time they've got to see what Roddy can do. I just stayed professional and you see what happens when you stay professional, you end up in a good position."
As for Beaubois, he was on the floor with the team during the morning shootaround. He said his foot is "feeling better," but he isn't ready to be on the active roster tonight.
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