Backboard’s Shadow: Rodrigue Beaubois

Every night he finds his usual place on the tip of the bench.  As a nightly back up for two point guards, one who happens to be an all-time great, Mavericks rookie Rodrigue Beaubois is stewing.  As of late his highlight reel abilities have been relegated to garbage time minutes in double digit wins or rare blowout losses and it’s only a matter of time before Beaubois makes his mark.

He’s gleamed with splotches of excellence here and though. Most notably in a mid-November game against Milwaukee just two nights after Brandon Jennings dropped his internationally renowned 55 points on Golden State. Going up against a Dallas squad which was playing on the second night of a back to back, the Bucks rookie went on a tear late in the game, scoring 13 in the fourth and forcing overtime.

Dallas looked sluggish.  They looked, scratch that, they were unable to contain Milwaukee’s point guard.  That was until Rick Carlisle uplifted Beaubois off the bench and told him to stick Jennings.  The Frenchman made it his mission, holding him to just two points the rest of the way as Dallas went on to win.  That defensive performance caused Brandon to tag a label on his fellow rookie that most television analysts and writers have been reserving for himself. Rodrigue Beaubois is the future of the Dallas Mavericks.

When Josh Howard was injured early in the season Roddy got some burn as the starting shooting guard; it allowed him to strictly focus on scoring and concentrate on his own personal production, but that’s not quite what the Mavericks had in mind when they traded their 24th overall selection—seven-foot Byron Mullens—to Oklahoma City for Beaubois’ rights.

Once it’s time for Jason Kidd’s September song to be sung, it will be Beaubois who carries Mark Cuban’s club in the next decade.  Will he ever develop into a franchise point guard able to make decent players around him good and good ones great? Time will tell on that, but in the near future watch him slowly pick up everyone else’s slack.  Jason Terry is just one of many Mavericks who understand how worthy their rookie can be not only in making a deep playoff run this year, but possibly winning a championship a couple years down the road.

He’s 6’ 2” with a 6’10” wingspan giving him a body destined to roam the perimeters of a basketball court. Athletically speaking, apart from Rondo, there might not be a point guard in the game who can touch him.  The comparisons to Boston’s #9 don’t stop there. Beaubois is in literally a perfect situation that should only get better as he enters the opening few years of his NBA career. Instead of being thrown into a disheartening losing atmosphere, he’s able to bide his time and study with one of the greatest point guards who has ever lived in Jason Kidd.  The two of them watch reportedly watch film daily together, boning up on such important things like how to defend and run a crisp pick and roll and how to see the entire court and be patient enough to let the right option develop in front of you.

If there’s any career path he’d aspire to follow it’d be Rondo’s.  Feed the top dogs for a few years before allowing your natural athletic ability to blossom.  Four years from now, Rodrigue Beaubois could be that breakout all-star. (When asked how he thought his game compared to Rondo, Beaubois responded he was just as good only a better shooter.)

Right now his team has an immediate need for his defensive services and his coach knows it. (In the past couple of weeks point guards have been torching the Mavs with ease.  Most notably Andre Miller’s 52-point performance and Monta Ellis dropping a career best 46.)

On a roster that includes an aging yet still able-bodied Shawn Marion, Rick Carlisle has been quoted as saying, “[Beaubois] brings an element to the game with his body type that we really don’t have anywhere else on our roster.” It’s impressive praise for a player who should be seeing more and more minutes as the season progresses.

Whenever Kidd chooses to hurl his kicks over the proverbial telephone wire, Beaubois will likely have come into his own. A young, quick, unguardable point guard who finds himself complimented by two or three seriously skilled players while also understanding it is he who is most valuable for the team.  All things run through him and he runs all things.

Seth Carstens