Mavericks expect Beaubois to raise his game
10/01/2012 11:05 PM
10/02/2012 1:07 AM
DALLAS -- For the past two years, injuries have curtailed Rodrigue Beaubois' opportunity to take his game to the next level.
Prior to his second season with the Dallas Mavericks in 2010, Beaubois had surgery after breaking his left foot while training with the French national team. The next season, he had surgery on the same foot after it didn't heal properly the first time.
But this year -- barring an injury -- the Mavericks are expecting some special performances from their polarizing guard; especially considering Beaubois is in the final year of his contract, leaving the Mavs wondering whether they want to invest more money in the fourth-year veteran beyond this season.
"He's had a great summer," coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's gotten stronger, he's in the best condition that he's ever been in coming into camp, and he's got three years' experience under his belt.
"It all adds up to this is his time to make a statement and really establish some consistency. Especially considering now he's had enough opportunities to play the point and learn about it, so he can make some real strides at that position, as well as [at shooting guard]."
For his part, Beaubois worked feverishly this summer, including getting involved in some boxing drills to help with his footwork. He also is eager to show fans he still has the talent he flashed March 28, 2010, when he scored 40 points while going 9 for 11 from 3-point range against the Golden State Warriors.
"Except my first year this is the first time I've come to training camp healthy, so it's good," Beaubois said after Monday's practice. "I feel healthy right now.
"I just need to keep working my body and stuff and everything's going to be good. Everybody wants to be able to play, and when you're healthy you can play better."
Beaubois averaged 8.9 points and 2.9 assists in 21.4 minutes per game last season. It was a star-crossed season for the speedy 6-foot-2, 182-pounder, who bulked up over the off-season.
"One of the curses of having his kind of athletic abilities is you show these flashes of brilliance and that can be difficult to sustain on a consistent basis," Carlisle said. "He's just got to play his game, and he's got to stay healthy. Those are the two biggest things."
Another thing Beaubois has to overcome is the absence of Jason Kidd, who was steadily by his side during his first three NBA seasons. But Kidd signed a free agent contract with the New York Knicks, leaving Beaubois to fend for himself.
"J-Kidd gave me everything he could," Beaubois said. "He just helped me, talked to me, but now he's not here.
"I just need to learn what he taught me and just try to push myself in practice, because we have some good point guards, too, this year. Every time he knew what to tell me to make me better."
Carlisle noted that Beaubois needed to be proficient at both guard spots. Meanwhile, Beaubois hasn't concerned himself with this being the final year of his contract.
"I'm just happy to be healthy for this training camp and I just try to play the best that I can," he said. "Contract stuff, I don't think about it at all.
"I will do everything for it to be my year because obviously I want to show that I know what to do and I want to help the team win."
Centers Chris Kaman (sprained lower back) and Brandan Wright (quad muscle) are still listed as day-to-day. Projected as the starter, Kaman said his injury is improving and he doesn't want to rush back onto the court. "I don't want to overdo it and set myself backwards at all," Kaman said. "I'm just trying to be patient -- it's kind of frustrating -- but just keep pushing forward."
After today's practice, the Mavs will hike it over to Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving where they will host their annual Mavs Master golf tournament at noon. The players, coaches, broadcast partners and sponsors will participate in the tournament.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760
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