Unfortunately, the most auspicious circumstances for this scenario to play out would be for the Mavs to have so many good passers, that their 6'2" streak of lighting can concentrate only on putting the ball in the hoop. The Mavs have actually taken a step back in that category, raising the question of whether, at 6'2", it's possible to be a tweener.
Of course, we're all out of patience with little Roddy B, but that's happened before and doesn't mean he's actually done. He had weird problems last year that were hard to fully understand. For some reason it looked like he'd forgotten how to shoot the basketball, while at the same time his shot still looks insanely pure. In the occasional game where no one bothered to guard the basket (cough cough, Utah, cough), Roddy, relieved of the need to try to get AROUND anybody, but rather having only to get there as fast as possible, was terrific not only offensively but overall, stealing the ball, blocking it, controlling the action.
For Roddy, it's always kind of seemed like being a consistent basketball player just hasn't occurred to him, that's what's so tantalizing. It's almost as if, if someone could just drag him aside and say, hey, listen, it's supposed to be a little hard to get to the basket sometimes, but instead of giving up, just learn some tricks to get around a defender or two, he'd say "oui, d'accord!," a tiny light bulb would appear above his head, and away we'd go. After three years, though, it seems like that can't be true.
Except that Roddy, for all his troubles last years, was the Mavs' 5th best scorer last year, and sported the team's third best PER. And he's never had a full training camp before. And while there's plenty of reason for a guy's shooting percentage to go down, starting with defenses adjusting, there's no particular reason for a three-point percentage to drop 20 percentage points.They didn't make the basket farther.
And I think, this time, it's going to work out.I was wearing my "Free Roddy B" shirt somewhat recently. As it happened, there was an incident, ultimately resulting in an ER visit and blood (not mine) on the shirt. "I'm sorry for getting blood on your Roddy B shirt," the afflicted other said, after the blender mishap that damaged but did not destroy his/her fingers (identities protected, here). "That's okay," I said. "The bloom is kind of off that rose."
So I hear you. I get you. We're all frustrated. The only potential speck of youth we've had, a talent whose electrifying breadth we've glimpsed, and the instant his mojo gets turned the other way he is done. Often for weeks. Something should have happened by now, if it was going to happen, is the theory.
But this is not strictly speaking true. Roddy, more than anybody, needs continuity. He needs to get used to doing it every night, every game. Every situation he enters can't be different, every time--few could handle that and a guy who's a basketball natural but not a basketball lifer less than most. He is finally going to get it this year.
It may be too late. After all, Jared Cunningham might be ready to take his position and both of them will have to get through the knot of Collison, Mayo, Carter, and the Joneses. Granted that, without another SF on the roster, Carter is probably going to see most of his time there, granted that Dom Jones is not likely to be a factory, granted that Dahntay Jones is the kind of defensive stopper you hate since he's such a zero offensively, it's not impossible. But it's a bleak picture for anyone playing inconsistently.
On the other hand, I don't think there's too many people out there who, even now, don't feel that if Roddy got his mental self right, he could be an impact player. And even though he didn't play in the playoffs last year, he did play 20+ minutes per during the season.And they didn't send him to summer league. They're frustrated with him, but they didn't sit him as much as it seems like they did and obviously they don't see him on the same level as a Dom Jones.
If Roddy is still a Maverick by the time the season starts, he will begin the season as the Mavs 2nd or 3rd man at both guard positions. I think, with a little continuity, and a little tough talk, he'll make the most of it.