Or maybe that’s just hope. It’s hard to really buy in to the Roddy B hype after it fell flat the last two years and the Mavs stocked up on other backcourt alternatives this offseason.
Heck, hope was so alive that the Mavs put Beaubois on billboards with a bold prediction from coach Rick Carlisle that the kid would become a superstar.
That was two years ago, when he was fresh off a rookie campaign that featured several flashes of brilliance highlighted by a 40-point performance. Beaubois has been much more miss than hit since then, with injuries and inconsistency the two major storylines of his last two seasons.
So ... anybody really believe that this is the year Roddy B will finally be the impact player the Mavs envisioned when Mark Cuban labeled him essentially off-limits in trade discussions?
“I’m going to do everything possible to make sure that it is,” Beaubois said.
That’s not just talk. Beaubois, the shy guy from Guadeloupe, doesn’t do a whole lot of talking. He has been putting in a lot of work, however.
Beaubois is consistently the last man off the practice floor, often joined by new starting shooting guard O.J. Mayo. They competed in shooting drills for an hour after Monday’s practice ended.
It’s been that way since the summer. It’s gotten to the point that Mayo can actually understand Roddy B’s thick-accented trash talk.
“We’ve been here for about a month and a half, so I’m starting to catch on to his lingo,” Mayo said, laughing. “He’s got to get his R’s together, but he’s good to go. He’s my man. He’s a workaholic. He’s always down to get in the gym, get some shots up and get to work.”
This was Beaubois’ first NBA offseason with a clean bill of health. The foot fracture he suffered two summers ago while practicing with the French national team is no longer a factor.
“Right now, we’re through that,” Carlisle said. “One of the curses of having his kind of athletic ability is you show these flashes of brilliance. That can be difficult to sustain on a consistent basis. He’s just got to play his game and he’s got to stay healthy.”
Carlisle’s confidence in Beaubois dipped so low last season that the combo guard played a grand total of a dozen minutes while the Mavs were swept out of the first round in four games. Carlisle says the Mavs need Beaubois this season, but he’s also quick to point out that they have a glut of guard options behind starters Darren Collison and Mayo, including solid vets Delonte West and Vince Carter and first-round pick Jared Cunningham.
However, Carlisle does seem truthfully optimistic that Beaubois has turned a corner. The coach points out that Beaubois, who implemented boxing into his offseason workout program, has never been stronger or in better shape. Carlisle says he thinks Beaubois’ work this summer is “going to bear fruit for him.”
Beaubois is injury free and has three seasons of experience. There are no excuses for him not to establish himself as at least a reliable member of the Mavs’ rotation.
“It all adds up to this is his time to make a statement,” Carlisle said.
That’s not quite billboard material, but the Mavs aren’t ready to give up on Roddy B.