Monday means The Come Up, our weekly look into the future. Sometimes we look at what’s on the upcoming schedule, but who wants to read a scouting report on three teams (Timberwolves, Knicks and Nets) with a combined win total that’s still below the Mavs?
Sometimes we ponder what will happen when injured players return, such as last week’s thoughts on what Erick Dampier's return means for Brendan Haywood. But today we look way off into the distant distant. As in next year.
And it a go a ‘lil summin’ like this:
How ya like me now?
Roddy Beaubois is on a three-game tear in which he’s rarely missing his shots and besting his career high every time he steps out on the floor. The injury to Jason Terry has opened the door for him to get minutes at the two-guard, and Dallas has benefited from his effortless glide, smooth jumper and absurd gears in the transition game. It also puts him in the position to be a playmaker without having the pressure of running the team -- an ideal role for a player with his explosiveness but lack of experience.
We’ve also seen that when Jason Kidd is on the floor surrounded by a stockpile of offensive weapons his game is downright Olympic. When folks on the coaching staff and in the front-office tell you that Roddy B’s future is running the point, they’re right. It's just not his immediate future. With the way Kidd is playing, I want him on the floor as much as he can possibly be out there for the foreseeable future. And with the crazy athletic ability and the easy scoring chances that Roddy creates and finishes, I want him on the floor as much as possible as well.
At this point, Kidd is better suited covering bigger guards than the mini-rocket ships that are currently holding down the point in The Association. If Kidd and the kid play in the backcourt together, they can easily cover a different position than they’re playing offensively. If you were to tell me that’s the Dallas Mavericks' starting backcourt next season, I’d feel great about that situation. In fact, that’s what I expect it to be.
Someone's getting squeezed ...
Seeing as I was calling for the Caron Butler trade in this space a couple weeks before it happened, you know how I feel about that dude. He’s a beast. I love his game. I love his toughness. I love him in the starting lineup whether it’s at the two or the three. The Big German is a lock at the four. And if Chicago’s 36-point fourth quarter and the relative ease with which they got to the rim told us anything, it’s that Dallas can survive going small in short bursts, but they need a big center back there protecting that rim if they really want to do anything.
So where’s The Matrix in this picture?
He’s easily the team’s best defender and, since the All-Star break, he’s been very effective finishing in transition. But with the offensive explosiveness of Butler and Roddy, Kidd’s ability to knock down the weakside three and Haywood’s prowess at catching and finishing at the iron, it’s very difficult to send that extra defender at Dirk knowing what the other four on the floor can do to you.
In my future world, Shawn Marion is still a huge part of this rotation, as is JET. But in my future world, those two comprise a dynamic duo off the bench for a championship contender. It’s good stuff and something I’d imagine a quality veteran with a good contract would embrace. Then again, the Mavs might just blow all this off and rock a sign-and-trade for King James. And I’d take that future over my version any day.