Our weekly look at the Mavericks' young players:
DALLAS -- Some early-season concerns regarding Rodrigue Beaubois were that he didn't understand how to run the offense through Dirk Nowitzki and that he wasn't very good at pick-and-roll, an aspect that former Mavs guard J.J. Barea had come to master.
Progress, however, seems to be taking shape, according to Jason Kidd, the man who is helping to teach the youngster from the tiny island of Guadeloupe how to make it in this league.
"I think he’s using his speed and not being able to always go to the fifth gear, but just changing up speeds and understanding, playing off Dirk. He’s understanding how to play off Dirk," Kidd said. "It sounds easy but it is a little difficult in the sense of understanding Dirk, where his tendencies are, and they’re working well together."
In the last nine games, Beaubois has created his own shots and is creating for others. He has scored in double figures in seven of those games, averaging 12.3 points, 3.9 assists, 4.0 rebounds and just 1.9 turnovers in 29.7 minutes. He is using his dribble to attract defenders and making smart plays.
Kidd said learning how to play through Dirk is the key, and that's it's not as easy as it might seem.
"A lot of times you tend to just throw him in the ball instead of maybe playing off of him or vice versa, he [Beaubois] might miss him when he needs to throw him the ball," Kidd said. "So that’s just being out there on the court more, more time and understanding each other, but they’re working well together."
Beaubois had another solid game in Tuesday's 90-81 win over the Rockets. He finished with 14 points and five assists, dishing to four players for buckets. He has at least five assists in four of his last five games. Perhaps the most important number he put up Tuesday night was the 12:00 in the fourth quarter, which allowed Kidd to put up a 0:00 and another night of playing barely 24 minutes.
"We were up, they asked and I said let him keep going," Kidd said. "With three minutes left I asked for the ice because Roddy and those guys had it under control."
In that nine-game stretch, Kidd logged 25 minutes or less five times thanks to Beaubois allowing coach Rick Carlisle to stick with him in the fourth quarter.
Beaubois is positioning himself to maintain minutes when Delonte West returns either later this week or next week. As long as he continues to progress, he will give Carlisle some tough decisions to make as the coach begins to round out a rotation one month from the start of the playoffs.