And Another One
Rodrigue Beaubois is just another rookie guard making noise…but with less PT.
by Jonathan Santiago / @ITSjonsantiago
Life as a rookie can be hard enough as is. Throw in a language barrier to overcome and it’s more difficult, especially if you want to talk to your coach about playing time.
But Mavs guard Rodrigue Beaubois has handled his first-year gracefully, inconsistent minutes included.
“For sure, it’s not easy,” Beaubois said of his fluctuating playing time. “But I’m really happy to be with the Mavericks. It’s a great organization. I think I improve every day.”
As customary with young talent who’ve yet to make a name for themselves, comparisons between Beaubois and some of the League’s established point guards have already been made. Some see him as another Tony Parker, probably because of his quickness, ability to penetrate and maybe his roots in Guadeloupe, a territory of Parker’s native France. Others see him as a reincarnation of Rajon Rondo, due to his length that he uses advantageously on the defensive end.
But what separates the young Beaubois from a young Parker or Rondo is no doubt his shooting stroke, which was on full display Saturday night versus the Golden State Warriors. The rookie eclipsed his 24-point career high by halftime with 26, draining five of six from beyond the arc. By game’s end, he wound up setting a Mavs record for three-pointers made in a contest with nine and an NBA record for most points scored off-the-bench by an individual with 40.
One of his weaknesses coming into the League, according to NBADraft.net, was his inability to create shots off the dribble. He had no issues in Oakland, occasionally pulling up for three off his handle, conjuring up memories of Nick Van Exel in a Dallas uniform.
The little-known rookie out of Guadeloupe didn’t make waves when he was selected 25th overall in last year’s draft by Oklahoma City. He was deemed a work-in-progress.
Well, he’s definitely figured out the work part all right.
“I had no idea who he was,” Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki said of Beaubois. “He impressed me in training camp because he’s so long (and) he’s so athletic. He’s a great defender and he’s very, very explosive offensively.”
His teammates all rave of his natural talent, but even more so of his work ethic. Unlike most players searching for motivation to improve, Beaubois doesn’t appear to carry a chip on his shoulder. Rather, he just seems to understand that hard work is part of his job.
“The kid is talented,” Mavs guard Jason Terry said of his rookie counterpart. “He works hard, he stays late.
“I’m proud of him because I’ve watched him work (and) I’ve watched him sweat,” Terry said of Beaubois recent success.
He’s certainly displayed his talent as of late, averaging 14.4 points per game in the month of March despite his inconsistent minutes for the Mavs.
His sporadic playing time does leave NBA fans wondering how effective he could be with more. But for him, his minutes aren’t a pressing matter. He understands his role on a team that features a future Hall of Fame point guard and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year ahead of him on the depth chart.
“This is a hot topic, a hot debate,” Head Coach Rick Carlisle said of Beaubois’ playing time. “And I’m one of the creators of it because I believe in the kid. I put him out there a lot. But you know make no mistake, if there are opportunities to play where he can help our team, he’ll be out there.”
His mentors at guard are certainly keeping him on point for such unexpected opportunities, like the one that presented itself Saturday night.
“I spend a lot of time talking to him, telling him always to be ready,” Mavs starting point guard Jason Kidd said. “You never know when your time or your name is going to be called.”
With the Playoffs just around the corner, maybe that time is coming sooner rather than later.
Jonathan Santiago also co-hosts the weekly Davis Sports Deli Podcast, which can be found here.