Rodrique Beaubois: For Dallas Mavericks, Raising Roddy Requires Baby Steps

Janet KesslerCorrespondent INovember 25, 2009

DALLAS - NOVEMBER 18:  Rodrigue Beaubois #3 of the Dallas Mavericks takes the ball to the basket against Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game at American Airlines Center on November 18, 2009 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

One thing every Dallas Mavericks fan can agree on is that we want Rodrique Beaubois to play more minutes.  Sometimes bringing up the future stud takes patience, and for now the Mavericks have the luxury of taking their time with Roddy.
Little Roddy is blazing fast like Devon Harris—maybe faster, but Roddy knows how to throttle that speed down when he needs to, unlike Harris.  That should lessen the likelihood that he injures himself by crash landing after a layup.
Roddy brings excitement to the game when he goes vertical for anything—whether on the receiving end of a "Roddy-oop" pass from Jason Kidd, or just going for a rebound. Watching him gives me flashbacks of what could have been with former dunk champion Gerald Green.
He is so exciting that owner Mark Cuban wants Roddy in the Slam-Dunk competition at the soon-to-be-held Dallas All-Star Game.   
Yes, Roddy is amazingly fun to watch and we want more of him, but understand one very clear point: He is a rookie on a very short leash for very good reasons.
Please understand that Roddy is a person who is learning the English language; everything is new for him here.  The Mavericks have to be cautious and absolutely sure he understands what they say to him and that the communication gap is bridged in a positive way.
Beaubois has started the last six games since Josh Howard was shut down for more rehab. This has insured that sixth man Jason Terry is coming off the bench and not forced back into the starting lineup.  
What the Mavericks are getting for that move is a jolt at the start of the games that has been lacking all season. The Mavericks are energized by Roddy's speed and high percentage shooting. His grip on the team's concept of defense has materialized faster than anyone could have foreseen. Roddy's impact on the team is clearly evident.
Beaubois' education in the NBA and with the Mavericks is very much in front of him; he is never on the floor without either senior point guards Kidd or JJ Barea.  Roddy is not even to the point where he can bring the ball across the half court line on his own yet.  He has a way to grow yet, even though we have witnessed glimmers of promise in his passing abilities.
We, like the Mavericks, have to be patient and let Roddy develop at his own pace.  The Mavericks are mindful not to put Roddy in a position to fail and hurt himself or the team.
We have seen Roddy match up well with the smaller quicker guards, something that has been lacking in the Mavericks' arsenal since the departure of Harris.  The Mavericks are keeping a careful watch at Roddy's turnovers, not allowing him to hurt the team with rookie mistakes.
For Roddy to get more minutes, he is going to have to earn them.  He has to show the coaches that he is learning what they are teaching him by applying it to his game. 
For now, we should be thankful that Beaubois hasn't been sent to the D-League by now. Since the Mavericks have been plagued with injuries, and Howard is not ready to return to the lineup, Roddy is needed with the Mavericks.

That may still happen if and when Howard returns to playing. The Mavericks know they might have the steal of the draft, they just have to raise Rodrique Beaubois right. 

That means lots of patience and lots of growing pains. 

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