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Roddy Beaubois: PG of the Now?

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If I am not notorious for thinking Roddy would never develop the skills to be a point guard, it’s only because, to be notorious, people have to care what you think.

But certainly the summer league stints were not encouraging, and certainly when he got back it didn’t look good.Obviously this guy---from the Utah game—plays in the playoffs last year.

I am not yet willing to say that Beaubois is a great or even particularly good passer. He doesn’t yet show an awareness of WHO to pass to when---that, say Jason Terry for three is a better luck than Shawn Marion for three, or that Dirk at the elbow is a better look than Haywood five feet from the basket.

However, to maximize Beaubois’ wild-array of talents, the guy should be at the center of an offense, and there’s just no getting around that.

What does a guy with a great jumpshot who’s also incredibly fast do?

Punches a thousand-pound gorilla in the face.

(Anything he wants)

That’s the thing. He's a fine shooter and an electric, athletic finisher. If he’s open on the perimeter you better jump, and if you jump and he’s not shooting, he’s at the rim.

If he does that enough times , then you’re going to have a timeout and your coach is going to tell the center to be ready for it, to rotate over. If he does that and Roddy drives, Roddy can then pass to Mahimni for a dunk, Marion for a hook, or Haywood for the most disturbing set of dribble drive moves since Air Bud. Generally resulting in calamity.

Not only that, in theory, but this actually happens. In the three games that he’s been the Mavericks starting point guard, he’s had 7 assists every game. In the game before that, he had 5. He’s also turned the ball over exactly 5 times in those 4 games.

No, not a great passer. But a guy who opens the floor for other people to get easy shots and is careful with the ball? That’s pretty good, right? Especially if you have as many good options as the Mavs.

I could be wrong, but I don’t see Beaubois as an elite scorer in the league. He doesn’t have LeBron’s height and physical gifts, he doesn’t have D-Rose, Westbrook or Wade’s strength. He can’t shoot as well as Ray Allen, or even Michael Redd in his prime .But can he be a consistently good player who lights it up from time to time? Absolutely. Of course. Silky shot, lightning fast. Reminds me of a young Leandro Barbosa.

And before you get upset about that, let me remind you of this: in 2006, Leandro Barbosa, another incredible speedster with a great shot, averaged 18 points and 4 assists a game.He shot 48% from the floor, and 43% from three. In fact, he’s a lifte-time 39% shooter from three. think that Roddy can do that.

And I think, maybe a couple of years down the road, if we don’t have to ditch him for Dwight Howard or whatever, he can do more. Leandro was never a starter, he’s averaged 30 minutes a game just once (in 2006), and, as far as I know, he’s seldom been the primary ballhandler. Maybe it's exactly because Leandro never had a Rick Carlisle to say, don't just go in there and try to fill it up. We think you can be more.

Whether because of that or because of his absurd talents, there is something Roddy has that Leandro doesn’t. yes it's Je ne sais quoi, so don't ask. Seriously, the kid has swagger. I haven’t always believed this about Roddy, who’s of course a bit too sensitive for his own good, but when he’s out on the court now, he wants to own it. The great ones do. Just like Jimmy McGinty said.

What's it mean? Well, it’s only been a few games, but I don’t have any problem with projecting Roddy as the Mavs’ backup point going forward, provided Kidd really does end up playing a lot this season. I suspect Rick feels the same way. As great as Delonte has been---did you see him get yanked out of the air and then score 5 straight points? Baller—I think part of the reason Rick hasn’t played him too much is that he hunts his shot a bit. Fine, make him a 2. He’s 6’4" anyway. Kidd/Roddy, Delonte/Carter, Carter/Marion, Dirk/Sean Williams, Haywood/Mahimni. I like it.

(What's that? Sean Williams isn't in the NBA right now? DO I LOOK LIKE A MAN WHO CARES ABOUT TECHNICALITIES?)

Bottom line, if Roddy keeps playing like this, it’ll be all that Rick ever asked of him and more than most of us—who had given up on him as a distributor, who only wanted him to be a lighting-in-a-bottle-2—really expected. And that’s without him scoring 20 points a game.

Rick, make it so.