HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Mavericks rookie Roddy Beaubois is just the latest member of what is easily the NBA’s best rookie class since LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade to show off his goods.
Roddy “Buckets” went for a wicked 40 last night on fellow rookie standout Stephen Curry and the Warriors.
My main man Earl K. Sneed of Mavericks.com has been singing his praises all year. And I’ve been watching and listening and he makes a good argument for Beaubois being the best rookie scorer of the bunch.
Sure, Brandon Jennings can always show off that 55-point outburst from early in the season. Curry can go off for 30 at any time. And no rookie has been as consistent as Tyreke Evans.
Beaubois, however, has shown a propensity for scoring outbursts that wouldn’t seem possible for a player whose minutes are as unpredictable. Since his team will play deeper into the season than any of those others mentioned, we will likely see much more of Roddy Buckets, provided he gets the minutes.
But I wonder what the Rookie of the Year race would look like if Beaubois was in a situation where he played as much as some of his rookie contemporaries …
Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News highlights the Mavericks’ dilemma:
“To put it bluntly, Beaubois was blazing hot.
Or, as he would say, c’est le feu.
“Sometimes, you just shoot and feel like you can’t miss,” Beaubois said. “It was my best game ever, for sure.”
Beaubois finished with 40 points. His previous high this season was 24. He was 9-of-11 from 3-point range. J.R. Smith has the NBA season high with 10 3-pointers in a game (on 17 attempts).
His total just missed the Mavs’ rookie scoring record, which is 42 by Mark Aguirre in 1981.
For good measure, Beaubois added eight rebounds, three blocks and three assists.
Beaubois was remarkable in hitting nine of his first 10 shots, including five 3-pointers, in the first half. He outscored rookie-of-the-year candidate Stephen Curry, 26-0, in the half.
So the natural question is how coach Rick Carlisle figures to get Beaubois, who played a grand total of 48 seconds in Portland on Thursday, more time on the court.
“He’s doing all his damage at two (shooting guard),” Carlisle said. “We’ll look at it. He’s earning minutes. I said all along he’s earning minutes that he’s gotten. This game was against a smaller team and it suited him. I love what he’s doing. It puts us in a very strong position as a team.
“I’m the one who’s going to have to make the decisions on who plays. And I’ll live with those decisions. This is a hot topic, a hot debate, and I’m one of the creators of it because I believe in the kid. I put him out there a lot. Make no mistake, if there are opportunities to play him where I feel he can help our team, he’ll be out there.”
Similarly, if there are games when Beaubois has two turnovers and two fouls in two minutes, playing time won’t be handed over.
At the very least, Saturday was a tasty appetizer of what might be to come in what could be a long, prosperous career for Beaubois.
“He’s impressed me ever since training camp,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who had a light night with only 30 minutes, 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. “When he’s on that, he’s a tough matchup for anybody and it’s fun to watch.”
Asked if he thought Beaubois is earning his stripes in terms of future playing time, Nowitzki said: “I think so, but sometimes, it’s tough. He’s such a scoring guard, sometimes I think coach believes more in J.J. running the team. But the way he’s playing, you got to give him some room at the two. It’s not easy, but it’s a problem you want to have. If you want to be deep, it’s definitely a problem you want to have on a good team.”
Oh, and we couldn’t leave you without a quick look back at Saturday night’s action:
A few top plays, too: