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Saturday, October 27, 2012
Dominique Jones not in cloudy backup PG picture, Mavs' plans

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- With Delonte West out of the mix, who is going to be the Mavericks' backup point guard?

"Somebody that's playing good," coach Rick Carlisle said before the preseason finale. "I have no [expletive] idea."

That cloudy picture didn't exactly get cleared up during the Mavs' messy win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Asked to analyze the situation after the game, Carlisle didn't exactly exude sunshine.

"I could ... if there was anything," Carlisle said. "Our backup guard position struggled tonight, but we've just got to stay at it."

One thing is painfully clear about the backup point guard situation: Dominique Jones is at the end of the list. He got a DNP-CD on Friday night.

It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots about the decision the Mavs have to make by the end of the month on whether to exercise next season's team option on Jones' contract. The 2010 first-round pick understands that his days in Dallas are numbered.

"Whatever happens happens, and I'm prepared for it all," said Jones, who had 20 points, 17 assists and 11 turnovers in 79 minutes this preseason, shooting 25.8 percent from the floor. "I don't want to be a distraction. I'll be a good teammate, focus on the things I need to concentrate on and things I can control. I'll just practice hard."

With Jones on the outside looking in, it's a battle between Rodrigue Beaubois and rookie first-rounder Jared Cunningham for the minutes behind Darren Collison.

Neither guy seized the opportunity this preseason, to put it kindly.

Beaubois went scoreless in 16 minutes against the Bobcats. He had 21 points on 7-of-21 shooting with 10 assists and five turnovers in five preseason games.

Cunningham went 1-of-7 from the floor in 13 minutes against the Bobcats. That made him 8-of-28 in the preseason, when he had more turnovers (nine) than assists (six).

"Roddy's ankle is still bothering him a little bit," Carlisle said, referring to the injury that caused Beaubois to miss a few preseason games. "This is all new to Cunningham. ... It's a huge learning situation for a rookie, but the thing I like is he goes hard on everything. That's something we can build on."

As far as the backup point guard spot goes, the Mavs don't have much else to build on at this point.