Dallas Mavericks To Rodrique Beaubois: Air France Is Cleared for Take Off!

Janet KesslerCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2010

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 24:  Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers reaches for the ball against Rodrigue Beaubois #3 of Dallas Mavericks on February 24, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The "Jet" is not on the runway!
With fan favorite Jason "Jet" Terry in the hanger recovering from successful face surgery, a call went out to the remaining Mavericks' bench. Who would be more than a body taking Terry's valuable minutes (Terry is second only to top scorer Dirk Nowitzki), and who will give the Mavericks points and a sense of stability?
"It will be done by committee," said head coach Rick Carlisle before Friday's game against the Sacramento Kings. As we have now learned that committee would turn into the one-man show of Roddy B.
For most of the season our sightings of Roddy, who has raw talent galore, have been few and far between. Even when Roddy did get minutes, coach Carlisle seemed too quick for our taste to pull the hook on him if he picked up a foul, coughed up the ball, or any other rookie miscue.
One big hindrance from the start of the season is Beaubois lack of being able to understand English. The coaches need to have confidence the he know what they want from him.
But that only makes us want more Roddy B.    
We knew as far back as last summer's basketball Combine of the physical freak-show that Beaubois is, all 6'2" and a wingspan of 6'10", top that with a 40-inch vertical leap. 
But wait, last year the Mavs had an air freak by the name of Gerald Green. He taught us physical abilities alone are short lived if you can't gain knowledge of the game and play defense. Anybody know where Green is today by chance?
When the Mavericks' big trade went down, it looked like our favorite rookie was gonna get placed back on the shelf again. What no one could have foreseen was the injury to Terry.
Turn Roddy loose!
For the past three games, Mavericks fans, we have had the privilege to witness the emerging growth of Roddy's game. Oh yes, he does make spectacular plays, and he has been a little scoring machine.
The past three games Roddy has shot a combine 25-of-40 from the floor, well over 50% shooting. He's shooting 40% on three pointers, and he can hit from anywhere on the floor.
One stat that stands out and marks the maturing of our little star in the making: He had only three turnovers in the past three games, with zero turnovers in last night's game. That will keep Beaubois on the floor longer.
Yes, we saw the "Roddy oop" play, and watching this young man catch air is a thrill to no end. But last night against the Chicago Bulls without Terry and Haywood, Roddy unveiled a new side to his growing game.
I'm not talking about the block from behind on the Bulls' seven-footer Brad Miller, or the trailing tip-in to Caron Butler's miss at the rim. I'm talking about Beaubois' on-court decision-making with the ball, the little things that greatly show everyone watching that he is understanding the concepts of this game.
For example: the dribble drive penetration play with a kick-out to J.J. Barea, with a swing to Jason Kidd for a three ball. Roddy passed on a layup that would have been blocked by the swarming defenders, he found his open teammates, and helped create a scoring drive.
I saw Beaubois using pump fakes, escape dribbles, and never allowing defenders to get the best of him. And how did Frenchy do on defense? He had a block, a steal, and a deflection. The most important part is he played 34 minutes and committed only one personal foul.
Roddy has such a silky smooth shooting stroke, if he were any more relaxed, he might fall asleep. In last night's game he showed a large growth of confidence in himself.
Roddy B is growing up fast.
With the Mavericks in the second seed in the West, and now only three games behind the L.A. Lakers, this has been a good peek at how far Beaubois has grown. We will be seeing more of him while Terry's face continues to mend.
Beaubois is looking more and more like the deadly weapon that we have been hoping for. With his game improving at both ends of the floor, we may have one of the emerging superstars of the future.