As promised, Roddy Beaubois did something amazing last night:
He made us watch a mid-February Dallas Mavericks game against the lowly Sacramento Kings. And, unless you're expectations were irrationally optimistic, he did not disappoint.
In his first NBA game action since last April, the second-year guard scored 13 points, dished out six assists and made three steals in an active, entertaining 21 minutes of Dallas' blowout victory.
As advertised, he played in a different gear than everyone else on the floor. Give him credit, the kid can get anywhere on the court he seemingly wants to go. He threw bad passes. He got winded in the second quarter. But he also displayed talents the likes of which we've previously only seen in a Mavericks' guard named Devin Harris.
I'm not saying Beaubois is the missing piece to the Mavs' championship puzzle. But he certainly doesn't hurt.
With their offense running through Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs are an efficient, yet predictable offense founded upon spot-up shooters. Of their core players, only Shawn Marion creates his own shot off the dribble. That, especially in the thoroughly scouted playoffs, sometimes makes the Mavs' half-court offense easy to defend.
Not with Roddy.
He colors outside the lines. He screws the script. He makes a steal at the defensive end and four dribbles later is converting a layup at the offensive end. For a slight sophomore, he's fearless enough and talented enough to live in the lane. Those of you who criticize the Mavs for being a bunch of soft jump-shooters, you've now got a player you can't pick on.
Again, Roddy is only scratching the surface. But you don't have to squint too hard to see him growing up into a player like San Antonio's Tony Parker or Golden State's Monta Ellis.
The Mavs still probably won't win the NBA title, or even the West. But as of last night they are now more fun to watch.
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