It looked foolish a month ago, but JJ Barea continues to impress as the days go by. He has continued his scorching hot offensive stretch, leaving many to wondering whether or not the guard has turned the corner and is developing into a consistent back-up the Mavericks can count on. "I’m just going out there every game and try to do my best, play hard, stay aggressive and attack the paint," Barea said. "I just go out there and play hard and hope for the best." To an extent, many people are hopeful that this is just the tip of the iceberg of what they could see in Roddy Beaubois when he returns from his injury.
News came Tuesday afternoon that Roddy Beaubois will make his debut on Wednesday as the Mavericks host the Sacramento Kings. "No one's more excited than me," Carlisle said of the return of the French guard. "I know that he can elevate our team in a lot of areas on the one hand. On the other hand, we're talking about a kid who has established only one line of consistency, that is playing two-guard when Jason Kidd is playing the one. So my job as coach, and our job as a franchise, is to get him in a position to be more consistent on an all-around basis, and that's going to be extremely challenging given all these circumstances."
The expectations are going to be high as Beaubois returns. Everyone needs to tap the break and allow Beaubois to establish himself again with the team and get his feet under him. The Mavericks stressed patience with Peja Stojakovic coming on board. They also stressed when Dirk Nowitzki was returning from his sprained right knee. The situation will not be any different with Beaubois.
The legend of Beaubois grows by the day. Each and every day, his mystique continued to growing larger as he was recovering from his foot injury. The last significant action we saw from the guard was during the Mavericks' playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. He scored 16 points in 21 minutes of Game 6, keying a comeback that ultimately fell short. The legend of Beaubois could be setting him up for failure. Expecting Beaubois to return as a star is unrealistic considering his inexperience and nearly six month setback due to injury. "I would just caution everybody to just temper this with some realistic expectations," Carlisle said. "It's going to be hard coming off six months without playing. We'll see." We will see, but we have seen something over the past 10 games that could give us an indication of what Beaubois could bring to the team in due time.
Over his last 10 games, JJ Barea has been extremely effective by averaging 13.2 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. In addition, he is shooting 54.7% from the field and 48.0% from three-point range. "Barea didn’t hit a three-pointer for two months," Rick Carlisle said after the game against the Rockets. "In the last 30 days, he’s the best three-point shooter in the league, you have to stick with it."
Barea has found a way to maximize his abilities despite his size. He has grown more comfortable getting into the lane and has developed a unique set of finishing moves at the basket to thwart potential defenders. "J.J., actually for as small as he is, is a very good finisher in the paint because he always leans in and pushes his body in and he's able to flip it in with his off hand,'' said Dirk Nowitzki. "For his size, he's really crafty and nifty in the paint.''
With Barea's ability to penetrate the lane and bring diversity with his inside and outside scoring, he has looked like a variation of Beaubois. Both guards are proficient at weaving through defenders in the lane and finishing despite their smaller stature. Barea and Beaubois can extend their shot out to three-point range or get to the basket off the dribble. Both are naturally talented scorers who can supplement their offense by making plays for others. It is not just hugs and candy canes, there are some downsides to both players. Based on their aggressive mentalities, both players can be wild in their overall thought process and bring sporadic moments of inconsistency.
Barea will eventually come back down to earth, it is just a matter of where he actually levels off at. It would be in Dallas' best interest for Barea to maintain his efficiency rate while Beaubois gets acclimated back into the rotation.
The Mavericks had a stretch where they lost their mojo. In impressive fashion, the team rediscovered their confidence within a span of mere weeks. Dallas has a contending core, even with Caron Butler's season ending injury. If Beaubois can bring the same production he brought last season with more minutes, then the Mavericks could see themselves playing basketball in June.
Things will be interesting on Wednesday because it appears that Barea could miss the game due to a flu bug and a groin issue which could give Beaubois even more action right out of the gate. "There’s a chance that if [Barea's] not available," Carlisle said, "Roddy could see significant minutes." That would allow Beaubois to show his ability to be a mutli-positional threat at either guard position.
Barea's performance has given the Mavericks a brief glimpse into the future of what they could have in Beaubois, the team has called "the future of the franchise." Dallas has one penetrating guard rolling and we have seen how big of an influence that can have on the team, imagine what could happen when you add a second penetrating guard.
Mavs Moneyball will covering Roddy Beaubois' return from top to bottom on Wednesday. Be sure to check back over the course of the day with any new information that pops up over the course of the day!
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