On Wednesday afternoon, it was a light workout day for the Dallas Mavericks players who log heavy minutes. Those players watched film as the other players got some extensive work on the practice court. It almost seemed like bodies were starting to get healthier at the Mavericks practice facility. On the far end of the court, Head Coach Rick Carlisle was channeling his inner point guard and working on screen and roll drills with Brendan Haywood, Ian Mahinmi and Alexis Ajinca. With the way Carlisle was moving, it's almost hard to believe he had knee surgery just a few weeks ago. When it was mentioned that he looked like a new man on the court with his knee, "Who, me," Carlisle asked. "I am the least of our (injury) concerns."
The big surprise of the day was seeing Roddy Beaubois taking part in a shooting contest against DeShawn Stevenson and Dominique Jones. Considering this is the first major sign of progress anyone has been able to see with Beaubois, it's a big deal. "It’s a big step for me because it’s been a long time," said Beaubois. "I feel good about it. I really feel good" After practice, Roddy was scheduled to meet with the doctor for his weekly check-up. If he's given the green light, the next step could lead to running and doing actual planting or cutting footwork on the court.
Roddy's jumper looked very solid during the practice, he's had to practice shooting over the past couple of weeks in a set-shot motion. Despite having to use that motion, he was shooting that way rather effectively. Roddy should be a very skilled free-throw shooter when he returns to the team.
It should be noted that Beaubois did beat DeShawn Stevenson on the last shot in their shooting contest, with Dominique Jones a distant third. That's not to say Jones was terrible, he held his own for a while but slowly faded out. Even though Roddy hasn't been able to get game action this season, you can tell that Beaubois is highly competitive and that the edge is there. He was letting the competitors and the media know that he made shots and he yelled at himself when he missed. Stevenson and Beaubois proceeded around the three-point line with healthy and playful trash talking throughout the competition. When speaking to the media, Stevenson was asked who won and he replied, "Frenchie." Stevenson went on to talk about Beaubois as a player, "He's just a great shooter. He can score the ball, I really like his game." Afterwards, Roddy claimed that he’s won three of the four shootout sessions, with a loss to J.J. Barea as the lone setback.
Beaubois acknowledged that he was a little fatigued after the contest. "Now, the conditioning part is going to be hard because I can feel I am getting tired very quickly," Beaubois explained. The electric guard isn't concerned about that issue, it's just a normal part of the process when you're coming back from a major injury. The Mavericks lost Caron Butler for the season this week and Roddy understands he will be needed when he returns, but patience is still necessary, "I want to really be 100 percent when I come back because I don't want to re-injured myself," said Beaubois. "For sure, with Caron out, I want to come back to the team. But I think it’s better to be careful. I still need more time."
The team has not revealed a timetable for his return but Beaubois believes that it will be pretty soon. "It's going to be week-by-week," said Beaubois. "Right now, I'm just happy about the fact that I can actually jump so we'll see."
When asked by the media about the visible progression in Beaubois' rehab, Rick Carlisle wasn't eager to get ahead of the situation. "Hey listen, I’m not talking about Roddy until he’s ready to play and I’m going to be very consistent on that," coach Carlisle said. "He’s on the court doing a few things, but we’re a long way from being ready to talk about him playing." When a follow up question was asked about the future practice plans with Beaubois, Carlisle replied with a funny yet serious, "Next Question."
Before Roddy returned to the locker room, he received some praise from the media on his shooting, "Oh, it's pretty good, for sure," Beaubois concluded quickly and confidently with his smooth French accent. The confidence is there, the jumping is there, Roddy Beaubois is on the comeback trail...
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