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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Will rookie Rodrigue Beaubois ever re-emerge?

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- The Free Roddy B movement of two seasons ago was based on two things -- the kid's tantalizing quickness and mesmerizing marksmanship.

Rodrigue Beaubois finished that 2009-10 campaign as the only rookie in league history to shoot 50 percent from the field (51.8), 40 percent from 3-point range (40.9) and 80 percent from the free throw line (80.8). He played in 56 games and averaged 12.5 minutes, a large enough sample size to imagine what could be.

Nights such as that one at Golden State when he drained 9-of-11 beyond the arc and 15-of-22 overall for 40 points only reinforced the possibilities.

Then came the broken left foot that summer, and, well, the wait continues to see if that Roddy B will emerge again. We knew the injury had tapered Beaubois' quickness and confidence to penetrate. But his shot has also failed to develop.

Three strong games last week replacing Jason Kidd at point guard quickly raised the excitement level again until three duds (5-of-23 from the floor) just as quickly lowered it.

Wednesday's game at Denver will be Beaubois' 52nd since returning from the fractured foot almost one year ago and nearly matches the 56 games of his rookie season.

In his last 51 games, Beaubois is shooting 41.1 percent (159-of-387) from the field and 30.3 percent from 3-point range.

This season, coming off a second surgery over the summer to his foot and with ample time to heal and rehab due to the lockout, his numbers have disappointingly continued to drop -- 39.6 percent shooting overall, 30.6 percent on 3s and just 7.0 points a game in 17.9 minutes.

According to NBA.com Advanced Stats, Beaubois this season is shooting no better than 38 percent from every area on the floor except the restricted area, the portion of the key inside the lower semi-circle, or point-blank range. He's connecting on 65 percent of those shots, which make up 24.4 percent of his total attempts.

However, he's made just 9-of-28 shots (32 percent) in the paint, where 28.7 percent of his shots come. And he's shooting 32 percent (15-of-47) on mid-range jumpers, which includes anywhere outside the paint and inside the arc.

Nearly 30 percent of Beaubois' shot attempts come from behind the arc with 24.4 percent taken above the break, meaning behind the actual arc spanning wing to wing, and he's made just 30 percent of those (12-of-40).

His eFG percentage, which adjusts for the value of a 3-point field goal relative to a 2-point field goal, is 44.2, the worst among Dallas' five primary guards outside of the injured and slump-ridden Kidd.

Vince Carter has a team-best eFG percentage of 52.9, followed by Jason Terry at 52.5 and Delonte West at 47.9 (Kidd is 39.1).

Against Indiana on Friday, one game after going 3-of-13 from the field, Beaubois floated two airballs from the paint and was 2-of-8. The next night, coach Rick Carlisle removed Beaubois from the starting lineup. In 20 minutes off the bench in the ugly loss at Cleveland, he put up two shots and missed both.

No doubt Beaubois has been under pressure in taking over the point. He admits he's still far more comfortable playing shooting guard.

Unfortunately, his shooting is failing to mask his other shortcomings at a time when his team truly needs the dynamic player of two seasons ago.