Earl K. Sneed reports from the Mavericks' Tuesday practice, where coach Rick Carlisle said second-year guard Roddy Beaubois will make his season debut on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, backup point guard J.J. Barea left practice with an illness.
DALLAS — At the end of his team’s Tuesday practice, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was so excited that he couldn’t keep the news to himself.
Carlisle let the cat out of the bag early, saying that second-year guard Roddy Beaubois is expected to make his long-awaited season debut Wednesday night when the Mavericks welcome in the Sacramento Kings. Aside from the Summer League, Beaubois hasn’t played meaningful NBA minutes since Game 6 of last season’s first-round playoff exit at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, when the young combo guard scored 16 points off the bench.
It has been a long road for Beaubois since, after it took six months for the young Frenchman to rehab from a fractured left foot suffered in the offseason. But that road will take a turn for the positive Wednesday night.
“I expect him at this point to be active tomorrow night,” Carlisle said of Beaubois’ game status. “I don’t know how many minutes he’s gonna play, but I expect him to be active.”
But even the coach says that it’s just another twist in Beaubois’ winding road, as the cat-quick guard joins a team that saw plenty of success without him in the lineup for the first 54 games.
“We’ve gone through this period of healing, conditioning and working on rhythm as much as you can do without playing in games, which has culminated in a couple of team practices which has been positive. And going forward, my expectations are that we’re gonna try to get him some minutes when we can. And I would just caution everyone to just temper this with some realistic expectations. I mean, it’s just gonna be hard coming off of six months without playing and coming back into a game,” Carlisle said.
But Beaubois still may be asked to do a lot in his first outing, with backup point guard J.J. Barea’s status for the game up in the air after he left practice early due to a sickness and groin issue. That may mean that Beaubois will have to immediately address something that proved to be a bit of a weakness in his rookie campaign — operating as the primary ball-handler in a lead guard role.
Last season, Beaubois thrived as a scorer when lined up as a shooting guard next to legendary point guard Jason Kidd. But Carlisle says that Beaubois will have to show enough progress as a point guard himself in order to make an immediate impact for the team.
“There’s a chance if [Barea] is unavailable that Roddy could see significant minutes. And if not, we'll see,” Carlisle said. “[Beaubois] has been best at the 2 position. But if Barea is not available, he’s gonna have to play (at point guard).”
That means Beaubois’ teammates will have to allow the still 22-year-old to come back slowly, regardless of how his return impacts the playing time of the other key contributors. And the Mavs’ supporting cast intends on doing just that, as the squad prepares for its final two games — a road-home back-to-back — before the All-Star break against Sacramento and Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday night.
“We’ve got his back. We’re gonna support him,” forward Shawn Marion said of Beaubois’ return. “It’s gonna be a slow transition for him. He’s gonna ease his way back into it. But we’re a deep, talented team. And it is what it is, we’re gonna go out there and compete and win. We want to win. And I think at the end of the day if everybody wants to win and everybody is on the same page then everything else will take care of itself.”
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