I've created the term "Boot-Gate" to help chronicle the events surrounding the recovery process for Roddy Beaubois. Clearly, the Mavericks are eagerly awaiting the return of their second-year guard, it should be noted that fans are just as eager, if not more, to see Beaubois back into the mix.
The young guard showed flashes of greatness over the course of his rookie season and everyone under the sun has labeled him "The Future." You can see billboards scattered across the Metroplex with Roddy in action and print to the side stating he will be a superstar. It should be noted, Beaubois is definitely under the radar in terms of one of the best-dressed players in the NBA, but with all things being equal, everyone would much rather see him wearing a Mavericks uniform.
Mum is the word when it comes to indicating the return of Beaubois, but Dirk Nowitzki took a stab at figuring Roddy's timetable, citing the Mavericks could be without their x-factor until December. When you try to get a specific assessment from the organization, you just hear that they are taking their time and not rushing Roddy back. They're taking their time, but there hasn't been any verbal confirmation on when he is expected back. Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban was on The Ben & Skin show on Friday and commented that Roddy was going to visit the doctor over the weekend. Hopefully, it's just a check-up and not a setback and things are rolling towards Roddy hitting the hardwood soon.
There was a nice piece here on MMB in late October that discussed the perils of essentially counting the chickens before they hatch with Roddy. The second-year guard has the makings to be a special player, but expectations do need to be tempered with Beaubois. He's coming off a major injury and will have to take some time getting back into game-shape and etc. On top of that, there will be natural growing pains for Beaubois. After dealing with inconsistent minutes in his rookie year, it appears he will get the lion's share of minutes at the shooting guard position. It takes time to get used to that type of change.
Expectations need to be tempered, but it's easy to understand why his return is well anticipated. "You saw last year what he (Roddy) brings. He’s unpredictable," Nowitzki said of Beaubois. "He’s liable to do anything out there, which is good. I think sometimes we’re a little bit too predictable. When he comes in, he might pull up for a 3 from 25 feet, the next time he drives and is a great finisher in there." The Mavericks have been known to be predictable with their schemes on offense. The Mavericks game is predicated off of flow and motion but you still know they ultimately want the ball in Nowitzki's hands, Roddy is an additional piece that brings the wild-card element to where you can't specifically key in on Nowitzki.
Roddy's basketball role is about as cut and dry as you can have it with Rick Carlisle as the coach. He always keeps his strategy in regards to the rotation under wraps but he, and players on the team, have indicated that Roddy will emerge as the starting shooting guard to play alongside Jason Kidd when he returns from his injury. We have seen what the Mavericks look like without Beaubois and there is anticipation of what the Mavericks could be with the infusion of active and healthy Beaubois into the mix. The best analogy that breaks it all down is that the Mavericks are a 2005-2006 Volkswagen Jetta. It's a nice looking car, better than most and it runs really well, it even has a nice leather interior...simply put, it's good but not great. However, Beaubois essentially is nitrous oxide (N2O) added to the vehicle. The car still is the same car, but it has something that gives it an extra kick. By adding that, it can radically change the outlook for the vehicle as long as the car doesn't fall apart.
How does that work with tempered expectations? It's simple, you don't prognosticate the amount of points he'll average but you recognize his abilities to bring a totally new dimension to the squad. You just go with that route and health permitting, the results will work themselves out.
The league has changed over the years, it's no longer driven by the big men, it's a guard-driven league. Speed can kill and guys who are able to attack into the lane cause headaches for opposing coaches and players. Dirk truly believes that the Mavericks have that kind of player in Beaubois. "The sky’s the limit if he keeps improving," Nowitzki said. "He’s got the shot. He can go both ways. He’s got the floater. He can shoot off the dribble. He’s a long, crafty defender. There’s really nothing he can’t do. He’s going to be a real nice player."
There will be lingering doubts on whether or not Roddy Beaubois is going to be labeled "injury-prone" but we can't even began to discuss that until he actually comes back. For now, "Boot-Gate" will continue and the Mavericks will be waiting to add that extra boost to their lineup.