Sunday, March 7, 2010
Mavericks riding rookie Beaubois' wave
By Jeff Caplan
The kid is making it look way too easy. With a silky jumper and smooth moves to the basket, Roddy Beaubois has scored 63 points in the past three games, the last two filling in as sixth man for the injured Jason Terry.
On Wednesday night, when Jason Kidd sat out to rest, Beaubois tied his season high with 17 points. Friday night against Sacramento, he scored 22 points. Saturday night at Chicago, the 22-year-old hit for 18 in the third quarter and set another season and career-high with 24 points, helping the shorthanded Dallas Mavericks beat the Bulls, 122-116, and extend their winning streak to 11.
"He played great. He had like 18 in that third quarter for us, which was a big lift," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He hit timely shots for us then when the Bulls were on a run. We're going to need him to continue playing like that with Jet out.”
Funny thing is, what if Terry had never gotten hurt? Beaubois had been racking up the DNPCDs and with the regular season winding down and playoff seeds on the line, who's to say how much time he would have seen under normal circumstances. Now it appears, the Mavs have unleashed a new scoring weapon.
"It feels pretty good," Beaubois said. "I've gotten the opportunity to play so I'm trying to be aggressive; just play. My teammates have given me good passes. My coaches, everybody, have been helpful."
Many of those good passes have come from the hands of Kidd. Instead of backing up Kidd at the point, playing alongside him at the two-gaurd has been hugely beneficial for Beaubois. Allowing him to concentrate on scoring and defense, and not running the show is a burden off his young, French-speaking shoulders.
Not only is Beaubois scoring, but he's doing so efficiently and from all over the court. It seems his range is wherever he wants it to be. In the past three games, he's drained 25-of-40 from the field (62.5 percent), and even though he cooled off Saturday from beyond the 3-point arc, going 1-of-6, he's still hit 7-of-17 (41.1 percent).
He's also showing off his leaping ability at the defensive end. Against the Timberwolves, he went up high to stuff Ramon Sessions at the rim. Against Chicago, he soared behind Brad Miller and swatted the ball away.
Carlisle insists that this little run might be fun, but don't expect Beaubois to play like an All-Star every night. This league, Carlisle says, takes years to figure out. And be sure, upcoming opponents will be tracking him. Still, productive floor time now can only boost Beaubois' confidence, increase Carlisle's trust and add another dimension for the Mavs down the stretch and into the playoffs.
"He's a talent. He's going to be a special player in this league," Kidd said. "He's a great student. He has all the tools to be successful. He's working extremely hard. This was his first back-to-back and he got a little tired there. He's a guy that people really don't know, but he can shoot, he has long arms to defend, and you can't teach speed.”