For a long time the Dallas Mavericks have always appeared to be missing that one thing that kept them from being a true contender. Since 2006 the Mavericks have been strong during the season but seemed to run into a brick wall come time for the playoffs.
Has that time of frustration passed? It's possible.
Who or what will make that change? Two people. Dominique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois.
You may or may not know Rodrigue Beaubois. But let me tell you something, this player is going to come out of nowhere next year. He has the tools to be a scoring threat the Allen Iverson way and has a jumpshot that will go in what feels like almost every time.
The reason you may know him is because the Mavericks and Mark Cuban are very high on his talents and potential. Teams are always trying to pry him away from the Mavericks in trades, pretending they think he's worth little value but the Mavericks are not fooled. They want the whole league to know their confidence in this French bomber, who we, the Mavericks fans like to call "French Cuffs."
The nickname "French Cuffs" hopefully doesn't stick too long and will be replaced with the now casually said "Roddy B." His current nickname however is because we refer to him as locked up in Rick Carlisle's rotation plus Guadeloupe being his hometown. And all last season we saw flashes of the Rodrigue Beaubois that we have been so eagerly waiting for but unfortunately his minutes never did change.
What evidence is there that Beaubois could be a great talent? Many things. For instance, Roddy B set a rookie record on March 27th, 2010 by nailing nine of 11 three-pointers against the Golden State Warriors. He made an outstanding line; 40 points on 15 of 22 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 1 measly turnover in only 30 minutes of action. Granted, it was the Golden State Warriors, but you cannot deny shooting the rock like that, regardless of whatever team it is against. Players have trouble shooting three-pointers as it is even if open, period.
And another piece of evidence; Roddy B also set yet another rookie record this past year by being the first rookie in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line.
What makes Rodrigue Beaubois such a scoring threat is his unstoppable speed . One game I remember quite clearly Beaubois looked like he was gliding down the court and made a fastbreak layup in just under six seconds from the other end. He runs the court like he's slicing bread and with his length, long arms, big hands and ball handling, you'll be running behind him. Either the speed or silky smooth jumper will mercy his defenders.
This year, now that Rick Carlisle has officially slapped himself in the face for only putting him in seven minutes or less for the first four games of the Spurs series, Beaubois will be looking to start at either point guard or shooting guard.
The Mavericks have tried experimenting with him running the offense during the Las Vegas Summer League. Its had its ups and downs to it but it may eventually work although Roddy B still seems to possess the true assets of a true shooting guard.
Jason Kidd has expressed his feelings of being all for giving up his starting job to Beaubois, but the Mavericks may also try him at the two-guard first.
For a demonstration of Beaubois's speed, watch a video here
And also, here is a recap video of Beaubois's 40 points.
As for DoJo, the guy you might not know, also known as Dominique Jones, the 25th pick of the NBA draft, things are looking very well. The Memphis Grizzlies agreed to send him to the Mavericks for $3 million during draft night as some may know.
How does he help the Mavericks? Well for starters he is the first real guard defender the Mavericks have had in a while. After many games involved with Jason Kidd, JJ Barea, Jason Terry and Devin Harris losing their man, the Mavericks have finally found a guy who can truly lock a bona fide scorer down.
He also provides some slashing skills; making bold comparisons of himself to Dwyane Wade. This is interesting, and while a wildly huge statement, he may in fact be somewhat correct.
DoJo is definitely in the same category when it comes to defining slashing ability but lacks the jumpshot or passing ability Wade is endowed with. Who knows though, Wade and Jones have very similar college stats and had similar pre-draft measurements at the times of their rookie years.
Jones has certainly shown a lot of potential in the Las Vegas Summer League and was named to the All-Vegas Squad that featured Sam Young, JaVale McGee, Reggie Williams, DeMar DeRozan, J.J. Hickson, Ty Lawson, Derrick Caracter, Gani Lawai, Jermaine Taylor, Alonzo Gee, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall.
John Wall was named the most outstanding player of the Vegas league and I thought that was interesting. Because while Wall was scoring as much as he did, it was at such a low percentage rate. Something that was gone unnoticed, and not that he didn't deserve it, but most people will not know the flaws he demonstrated when ESPN shows the Summer League highlights and says "DO THE JOHN WALL!", and "Man, that kid is fast."
His assists I cannot argue except that most of them were just him feeding the ball to the seemly unstoppable JaVale McGee, who just turned around and dunked/laid it in over helpless defenders everytime (the player I believed deserved the most outstanding player award).
The reason why I mention Wall is because he has shown how powerful of a player he already is and while he shows these skill sets, the day Dominique Jones guarded him he basically shut Wall down . It goes unrecorded on the stat sheet but I watched Jones swat or divert three of Wall's pull up jumpshots.
The end result? John Wall was crowned a hero when the Wizards won, but nobody talked about how Jones locked down Wall and made him go four-for-19 from the field and turn the ball over three times.
The Mavericks failed to win the game because a lot of the players failed to show up, but Jones was clearly on top of his game, going nine-for-17 from the field, grabbing 4 rebounds and 4 assists and getting 28 points ; six more than a certain someones that day.
The bad thing was DoJo had six fouls on the day, but I'd like to argue that a lot of the officiating this summer in Vegas was very unneeded and players very often had games where they had five, six, seven, or eight fouls.
Rodrigue Beaubois the same game against Washington had five fouls, preventing him from playing much that game. A lot of these fouls were completely bogus calls that would not fly without questioning in the next level of play because they were simply players preventing their opponents from driving by utilizing positioning strategies.
What will Jones end up doing this year? I think Jones will end up being a well rounded rookie and come out of the gates fast, surprising everyone but not playing hugely.
Jones's scoring will consist of a million free throw attempts for he drives and grabs fouls non-stop. He's similar to LeBron , not a reflection exactly but in that same aspect of driving and also will elicit many three point plays. He's a very good free throw shooter and will make the best of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Don't the Mavericks have enough scoring between Rodrigue Beaubois and the rest of the crew as it is? Sure, and maybe teams will focus on them more next year instead of Jones, making another option to score needed. Jones provides good ball movement and has very good court vision for a natural shooting guard. He will help mix up the Mavericks offense and make it difficult to anticipate who is going to be shooting.
Hopefully Jones and Beaubois start next year, they are two players ready to benefit the team now and Kidd and Terry provide some valuable bench minutes behind them. It'll be the start of something that has been long needed for the Mavericks and will prevent them from becoming a stale team.
In the end, people will talk about how these two really helped the Mavericks take a step up in the league and battle the leagues best. Tyson Chandler is a huge addition to the team as well, adding front line backup and athleticism.