The Unwanted Case for Carlisle

Name the most exciting thing about the Mavericks. Its safe to say most of you guys would answer that it is Mr. Beaubois (though I'm willing to bet your answer wouldn't be that formal). Its obviously an easy pick: he's not the best player, but he's the most explosive, he's got the most potential, he makes dazzling layups and displays outstanding athleticism and drains crazy threes...what's not to like him? Plus, he's new. Dirk is awesome, but we've seen him for years now. Roddy is an untapped young talent, he's a known quantity, but still a mystery in many regards, just due to his limited playing time.

That right there is exactly what I'm going to talk about. His playing time. The general consensus all over Mavericks fandom is that Rick Carlisle screwed up, and that Beaubois could have helped this team way more if he had been given more minutes. Before the hate comments start pouring in, let me make this perfectly clear: Roddy DID deserve more minutes this year, and Carlisle DID screw up by not playing him enough. Understand that I'm a huge Roddy fan...I can type out his name almost as fast as I can my own because of the amount I've googled and youtubed him, and trust me, its not easy to type out...and the twelve and a half minutes in 56 games he got last year? Not adequate.

But as a reader and poster on several Mavericks message boards, I see a lot of Carlisle getting absolutely blasted for that. Some insist he should be fired, others claim he's incompetent and knows nothing about basketball, and some just state their opinions simply as, "Carlisle is an idiot!"

Carlisle is not an idiot. He's not a moron. He's smart, and its clear he made a mistake by not using Roddy more, but there were reasons that he had to not trust the kid. You guys may not want me to make this case for Carlisle, but he's not the mental asylum escapee that many people claim.

So there's a simple reason Carlisle had to not play Rodrigue. Defense. Now I know this is a bit of a hypocritical excuse, because there are a certain couple of players on the team right now (I'll give you a hint: one would excel at midget wrestling and the other looks a lot like this), but I'll get to that in a second. Let's stay focused on Roddy.

Now Beaubois is certainly a candidate to be a defensive team selection, at some point. He's fast and quick, not only straight line but also laterally. He's got an impressive wingspan and an even more impressive vertical, giving him the ability to swat away layups and also get a hand on jump shots at a higher than average rate. He's not Rajon Rondo, but he sometimes shows flashes of having a knack for the ball, being able to step in front of passes and poke the ball lose from behind.

His weaknesses won't take a paragraph to describe like the above one, but unfortunately they are quite glaring. He's foul prone. when he uses his athleticism to perhaps play defense a little too much, and can't defend the pick and roll, primarily because he doesn't have the strength needed.

During the first half of the season, the problem fighting past picks was extremely glaring, and would often be highlighted and exploited by the other teams. Roddy, despite wowing people offensively, did quite the opposite on the other end. He seemed over matched, probably because he was.

Now you ask about JJB and this guy? For Carlisle, both Barea and Terry were players who played bad defense, but Carlisle also understood their offensive game. He knew what they could and would do on the offensive side of the ball, despite their lacking defense. For Beaubois, he was a huge question mark and mystery, and his English being lacking as it was, wasn't the easiest guy to coach up. The question mark grew smaller over the extent of the season, but Carlisle preferred to play his bad defense guys whose offense he knew, not a bad defense guy who was still somewhat of an enigma, whose language barriers could cause problems on and off the court, and who have never played in big games on this stage before.

Now, there's a span of a month or two where Roddy's defense had improved a lot (still lacking, but good enough in other areas to make up for those before mentioned weaknesses) but he still received no playing time, besides a little mop up duty. I'm not excusing Carlisle, as I've said before: there were many a game against bad teams where the offense needed a spark, but our potentially greatest spark off the bench was not used. Roddy hadn't really had a game where he proved himself to be an everyday player, but he also didn't get a lot of chances to.

The one game where he did prove himself? That would be Golden State. 40 points, 15/21 shooting, 9/11 from three point was an amazing performance. A performance that deserved a big increase in minutes for that kid. He's going to show up big; he's going to light it up, right?

Here's his games after Golden State. (Oh, quick sidebar: can anyone tell me how to add a table? Is the only way to edit the HTML code?)

vs Denver: 15 minutes, 2/7 FG, 1/4 3PT, 2 PF's, 5 points

at Memphis: 23 minutes, 4/8 FG, 1/2 3PT, 3 TO's, 4 PF's, 10 points

vs Orlando: 11 minutes, 0/3 FG, 0/1 3PT, 2 TO's, 2 points

vs OKC: 10 minutes, 3/6 FG, 0/2 3PT, 2 TO's, 3 PF's, 7 points

Also, in all four of those games, a combined 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

That's not good stats, folks. All I'm saying is that Roddy proved he needed more minutes, then promptly proved he didn't. Carlisle certainly gave him a chance, if you check out those minute totals. Its all about trust, and when Carlisle gave Beaubois a chance to prove himself, he didn't.

One more time, Roddy should have got more minutes. He should have got more playing time in the playoffs. He should have been subbed in early in the 4th quarter of Game 6. But Carlisle isn't some senile old grandpa. He didn't give Roddy enough chances overall, but when he did, let's not pretend that Roddy did everything right. No, it was his rookie year, and he had some mistakes. Probably quite a bit more than "some". And Carlisle is a smart coach. I would expect 20 mpg for Roddy, if he plays up to expectations, at the least this year. If Roddy gets that, then I'll be happy.

Reader Submitted

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