Earl K. Sneed reports from the Mavericks' Monday practice, where the team awaits the return of second-year guard Roddy Beaubois, who could debut as soon as Wednesday night.
DALLAS — There was a lot of love shared at the Mavericks’ Monday practice.
The Mavs celebrated Valentine’s Day with a joyous spirit, exchanging lighthearted jabs and friendly jokes on the court during a physical scrimmage before returning to their loved ones for the rest of their holiday plans.
“I have two dates, my daughter this afternoon and my wife tonight,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
But with all joking aside, the Mavericks were in a good mood mainly because the return of second-year guard Roddy Beaubois seems more and more likely as the days pass.
In fact, after the budding star was able to go through the team’s full practice, including a five-on-five scrimmage, Carlisle says he hasn’t ruled out playing Beaubois in Wednesday night’s showdown with the Sacramento Kings. The coach adds, however, that there is no certainty as to when the young guard will return at this point.
“He’s doing well. So, progress is ongoing,” Carlisle said of Beaubois’ game status. “I’m encouraged. Again, I’m not sure of the timetable. I’m not sure if it’s pre-All Star break or after the All-Star break, but he had a good day today. And if he has a good day tomorrow, it’s conceivable he could play.
“He’s put a lot of work in. We know that his abilities can enhance our team, on the one hand. On the other hand, expectations are gonna be ridiculously unreasonable. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. But that’s just a fact of life. And so, we’re all gonna have to deal with that. But first we have to get through tomorrow and Wednesday, and then see where we’re at.”
Those expectations Carlisle referenced stem from the cult-like following of Mavericks fans after Beaubois’ play last season, when a 40-point performance against Golden State on March 27 and 16 points in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs against San Antonio teased the Dallas faithful with signs of things to come before he suffered a fractured left foot and required off-season surgery.
Those are expectations Beaubois says he hopes to live up to as soon as he hits the hardwood. Perhaps as soon as Wednesday night.
“That makes me want to work even more because they believe in me,” Beaubois said of his hopes to please the fans as soon as he returns to game action.
He added: “That pushes me and I just want to help the team … If I’m ready on Wednesday, if I feel good, I might play on Wednesday. If not, my goal is to at least be ready after All-Star — just to be ready to play. But like I say, I have to practice, and day after day be able to see where I am. I want to be on the court a lot, for sure. But I don’t want to rush back and come back too early, then re-injure myself. I just want to make sure everything is good. So, like I say, it’s gonna be day by day.”
But Beaubois’ teammates have no doubt what he’ll be able to provide as soon as he does make his season debut, after getting an up-close-and-personal view of the cat-quick guard in Monday’s practice.
“Watching this kid today in practice, it’s gonna help us,” center Tyson Chandler said of Beaubois’ pending return. “That’s one of the things we’ve been lacking — a young, athletic, energy-type guy at the guard position that can be explosive and get out in transition by himself. And it was fun to watch. I’ve never seen him play, just heard a lot of good things about him. And seeing him today in practice, it’s impressive.”
“In the spirit of Valentine’s Day we’re gonna say that Roddy Beaubois will be the Mavs fans' Valentine,” sixth man Jason Terry joked. “He’s gonna come back and he’s gonna provide a spark, energy, his ability to stretch the floor in transition and it’s gonna be great. And he looked real good in practice today. Now, it’s not a game, but it’s as close as he’s gonna get to it … They’re gonna remember what they’ve missed, but he’s gonna remind them quickly. Just because the way he plays. He’s very impactful, he’s explosive and he’s lightening-quick.”
Note: The Mavs return to the American Airlines Center Wednesday, Feb. 16, to host the Sacramento Kings. That matchup will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest. Great seats are still available and tickets can be purchased by visiting the American Airlines Center box office, logging on to Mavs.com or by calling 214-747-MAVS (6287).
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