Dallas Mavericks: Can Rodrigue Beaubois Save Title Hopes After Injury To Butler?

Andrew PierluissiCorrespondent IIIJanuary 3, 2011

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 23:  Guard Rodrigue Beaubois #3 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 23, 2010 in San Antonio, 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

A knee injury to Caron Butler might have hurt the title hopes for the Dallas Mavericks. 

Butler was third in the team in scoring at 15 points per game and recently increased his production significantly with superstar Dirk Nowitzki out of the lineup with his own knee injury.  His loss will impact the Mavericks, but it might not be as much as people might think.

The truth is the Dallas Mavericks are one of the deepest teams in the league at almost every position.  Losing Butler means players like Jason Terry, DeShawn Stenvenson and Shawn Marion will actually play the minutes they would play in any other team not as deep as the Mavericks. 

But even then there is still one more piece that makes Butler’s loss less painful.  That is the return of the surprisingly talented guard Rodrigue Beaubois.

Team reports say that the Guadeloupe native is a couple of weeks away from returning from a foot injury. 

It couldn’t happen at a better time. 

With Butler out, Beaubois will have the minutes available to enter the rotation and make an impact on the team. 

Last season, Beaubois averaged over seven points per game as a rookie while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 40.9 from the three-point line in just over 12 minutes per game.  He also proved to be an excellent finisher on the break and set plays.

Before the season began, Beaubois was expected to be the team's starting shooting guard by many experts.  That is now a possibility once again.

Dallas found their best success when bringing Shawn Marion and Jason Terry off the bench, something that it would be in their best interest doing again once Nowitzki returns. 

DeShawn Stevenson is more than capable of holding his own at the small forward spot, opening the door for Beaubois to step in as shooting guard.  In the meantime, Terry and Marion will likely take turns in the starting lineup with Stevenson playing shooting guard or small forward game-to-game.

Caron Butler gave the Mavericks a second scoring option to the starting unit, and it will surely be missed, but the underrated Mavericks bench and the underrated shooting ability of DeShawn Stevenson will pick up the slack.

Mavericks fans should not worry about this loss and will rest assured their team will be fine in the next few months. 

If there is something to worry about, it is the future of Caron Butler in a Mavericks uniform.  He has an expiring contract worth over $10 million.

Once Caron Butler heals and comes back, will he regain his starting spot?  Will he get his minutes? Will he even be back as a Maverick with the trade deadline approaching as the team looks for a backup power forward? 

Let’s leave those questions for the comments section below!