The Dallas Mavericks medical staff has cleared Rodrigue Beaubois for full practice, full contact and yes ... whenever coach Rick Carlisle deems is appropriate ... full game action.
The second-year guard is in Houston tonight with the team as it preps for a meeting with the Rockets. ... Beaubois' time is coming after having been involved in some limited team practice work -- and of course, five months of starts and stops while rehabbing the fractured left foot he sustained in August.
Carlisle is talking about the possibility of Roddy B being freed for Wednesday's home game against the Kings.
From Rick:“He’s cleared for contact, so he had one practice. ... We’ll see where things are on Wednesday morning, but that’s a long time away ...”
From Roddy B: “So far it’s good ... “I feel it, but it’s good. That means I’m coming back, so it’s good.”
From Mavs GM Donnie Nelson: "Good things come to those who wait.''
THE OBVIOUS IMPACT
The Mavs have in recent weeks taken great pains to downplay Beaubois' sudden-impact potential. However, he was penciled in to be a starter this season at the 2-guard. Forget the experimenting as a backup 1, forget any competition with JJB for that role (for now) and forget even the trade bait that a healthy Roddy B is.
Instead, focus for now on the coming return of a player Nelson recently admitted to DallasBasketball.com was being counted on to be a candidate to be one of the Mavs' top three players this season.
We won't attach offensive numbers to it yet -- the Mavs certainly don't do so openly. And in fact, Beaubois himself now is talking with some caution.
"I need practice first,'' he said. "When you play, there’s a lot of movement. So, I need to see what I can do in practice. I need a couple of practices to see where I am … When there’s a straight line and I have to turn, it’s kind of tough. But it’s getting better day-by-day.''
Our hope, of course, is that is an example of his mind being more careful than his foot noew requires him to be.
But who can forget the last time we saw Roddy B? Last spring in a Round 1 series against San Antonio, Carlisle allowwed him just 10 minutes of burn in the first five games of the series before turning to him in desperation in Game 6. Roddy B scored 16 points in 21 minutes in a loss, triggering an offseason of what-if's.
Dirk Nowitzki, for one, thinks he knows "what if.'' The UberMan talks often of Dallas' offensive need for things like "youth,'' "quickness'' and "creativity.''
He's about to get those things from his "Little Frenchie.''
THE SUBTLE IMPACT
What about defense?
Where to put him? Who suffers minute-wise? WIll Roddy B push DeShawn Stevenson further down the totem pole? Does Jason Terry feel any effect? Will JJB remain a fixture in the rotation?
Roddy B has waterbug promise and leaping ability as a defender. The Mavs visualize Beaubous and Kidd working in tandem, Kidd taking the bigger guys (2's), Roddy taking the quicker guys.
But Beaubois will come back saddled by both rust and
It’ll have been more than five months since Roddy B has played in a competitive situation. He will initially fall back on his most reliable talents.
Those talents are offense-related. We have some concerns that for awhile, the team defense might have to endure some dents.
YOUR CHANCE TO BE THERE FOR RODDY B:
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So we've got some news. Some hopes. Some stats. And some fun. And soon, we will FREE RODDY B.