'FOLLOWILL'S 5': Roddy & Peja Staying Home

Mavs play-by-play voice Mark Followill takes your questions and gives you insight into the Mavs with 'Followill's 5'! This week: Thoughts on Peja and Roddy B -- both of whom are staying home to rehab, according to coach Rick Carlisle, when the Mavs hit the road this week.

1. "Thanks, Mark, for becoming one of us (at DallasBasketball.com)! I have heard rumblings of Peja being too slow too guard most 3's. Is there any chance he will play any 4?'' - Hutch41

FOLLOWILL: Hutch, depending on the matchup, that's certainly a possibility – though we've recently seen some matchups come through here that wouldn't work. When Atlanta's Josh Smith was at the 4 the other night, that's not the best situation for Peja. When the Clippers came through with Blake Griffin, that's not the best matchup for Peja, either.

But there are some 3's he can guard and there are some 4's he can guard. Most of all, though, his fit on defense might work because of how often the Dallas Mavericks play that zone and therefore can mask any of his deficiencies.

The biggest issue here for Peja is this: Clearly, he's being brought on for his offense. He will space floor and he will shoot the 3. So even though he might have some defensive issues, I still say his presence will be very welcome because that sort of offense will always be needed.

2. I see Derek Harper was in as the TV color analyst in place of Bob Ortegel for the Atlanta game. Any chance we see more of Harp? I am not suggesting he replace Bob, but I do like Harp's point of view.'' – BevoMav

FOLLOWILL: Bob is dealing with some personal issues. We'll have Derek Harper involved, depending on his schedule. Harp will be with us tonight for the Clippers-at-Mavs game.

3. "Brendan Haywood says he is starting to understand what they need him to do on the court. What do you think he is learning about his role?- Mavslvr

FOLLOWILL: "I would hope that he's learning that the way to get minutes is to do the dirty work as the 5-man – those things he's done recently but things we haven't seen him do as consistently as we'd all hoped.

I wonder if what he means is not so much learning what to do on the court, but more learning how to prepare himself for a role he hasn't had to deal with much before. Brendan's been a starter for 70 or 80 percent of his games in his NBA career. I know Rick said in the past that the Mavs are asking him to do something that's out of his confort zone. I think we all hope he's making a positive adjustment to that.

4. Hey Mark! I would love to hear who you think would be the best addition to the Mavs via trade? - Mangini8

FOLLOWILL: "Specific players are too difficult to get into because we don't know who's available at this early stage. I will say this: We all see there are minutes to be had at the wing positions, specifically at the small forward spot. I think ideally, if you could find someone to replicate the things Caron Butler was doing on offense – the ability to run iso's to him and to run an offense through him – that type of player and opportunity would be one that you'd like to have present itself before the trade deadline.

5. "At the beginning of the season it seemed like they had Roddy B marked as the starting 2 guard. Since Roddy will have missed half the season or so by the time he returns, what role do you think he's likely to assume?'' - Vandyman3501

FOLLOWILL: I can almost guarantee you what Rick Carlisle will say at the press conference in which Rodrigue Beaubois's return is discussed:

"This is the beginning of a process.''

That's what Rick said when Dirk first came back from injury and it's true. Roddy B's initial role will be defined by his conditioning and how much he's capable of in that regard in the early going – and I would think it would not be a whole lot.

When we get closer to the playoffs – and that and the final month of the season is really what will be focused on -- that will be the key. Worth noting is that when this team is relatively healthy and they have DeShawn Stevenson in the starting lineup, the record is really good this year. It seems like this thing works with Stevenson coming out and setting a tone of defensive toughness.

But those minutes for DeShawn could go much lower, in order to open up minutes for Roddy B to play off the bench and be a contributor. This is not the role we envisioned at the beginning of the year in terms of minutes. But Roddy B can come of the bench and still be electric and dynamic.

One more thing: This discussion and where it goes is all dictated by the composition of roster after Feb 24. At this point, that is definitely an unknown.

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