DALLAS -- Last Sunday in Orlando, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle didn't active a healthy Rodrigue Beaubois for his team's game against the Magic.
The very next game, Beaubois responded with a season-high 19 points in just 16 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs. Beaubois was very active against the Spurs, converting 6-of-8 shots, blocking one shot, grabbing three rebounds and handing out two assists in a game where he generally stuffed the stat sheet.
The only problem is, the Mavs are used to games like this from Beaubois. Unfortunately, they only see them every blue moon from their fourth-year point guard.
"It was just one game,'' Beaubois said. "I just need to be focused and keep working hard and see if I can actually keep playing like this for a long stretch.
"Right now it’s just one game, so I don't even think about it. I just have to be focused for tonight, because it’s going to be a tough one.''
When the Mavs (18-25) host the Phoenix Suns (15-29) at 6:30 tonight at American Airlines Center, they would like to see Beaubois be a bit more consistent. In other words, they want him to do to the Suns what he did to the Spurs.
"At this point it's up to him,'' Carlisle said. "We've been down this road a lot and this is his time to show what he can do and be consistent with it.
"I've been a consistent believer that he can do it, and now's the time.''
Carlisle said Beaubois will have an opportunity to shine against the Suns, primarily because they need a player of his ilk who can control a game in a variety of ways.
"He's just got to compete hard,'' Carlisle said. "I think we can all look at his (left ankle sprain) injury situation earlier this year and say that that was a hinderance, but now he's healthy so he has the ability to do what he did the other night.
"And it's not just the points. It's how he affects the game with his quickness, athleticism, persistence. The challenge has been to sustain that, and tonight he gets an opportunity to do it.''
It's still up for debate whether de-activating Beaubois against the Magic played a major role in how he performed against the Spurs last Friday.
“Everybody wants to play, so when you;’re not active you know that you’re not going to go in at all, so obviously it’s not something that you like,’’ Beaubois said. “But I know it was a coach’s decision.
“He thought on the court I just need to make sure that I’m playing hard and I’m trying to be aggressive to help the team win.’
First, the Mavs brought in 38-year old Derek Fisher, and then 37-year old Mike James to bring a spark to their point guard situation. That obviously got the attention of Beaubois, who had fallen out of the Mavs' rotation.
"When you see older guys come to take your position, you need a reaction because you don’t want to be there and just stay on the bench,'' Beaubois said. "I took like maybe too much time to play more aggressive, but I just need to keep working.
"Like I said (the game against the Spurs was) just one game. I like the fact that I was aggressive that game, but I just need to keep working and try to do the same thing every game starting tonight.’’
What Beaubois does the remaining 39 games will obviously affect whether he's playing with the Mavs or elsewhere next season, since he becomes a free agent on July 1. That thought, however, has not entered Beaubois' mind.
"I'm just focucing on playing better right now because I haven’t played good this season,'' he said. "So I just have to keep working and get back into a rhythm.
"But what can happen after that I don’t really think about it at all.''
-- Dwain Price
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