THE GIDDY RETURN OF RODDY B: It was the most loose, most giddy Mavericks practice scene of the year. And the excitement over The Return of Roddy B is the reason.
"He looked good,'' coach Rick Carlisle said of Rodrigue Beaubois, who has spent five months sidelined by a broken foot. "We're all excited … He's put in the work. He had a good day today. If he has another good day tomorrow then it's conceivable he could play (Wednesday)."
DID RODDY B LOOK GOOD? SEE FOR YOURSELF
The smile on Rick's face was telling. It wasn't that familiar twisted grimace. He only tried briefly to hide his glee by saying, "We have another two days before we get to the altar with this'' shortly after he exchanged Valentine's Day good wishes with the media. Rick also made the effort to praise DeShawn Stevenson, the present starter at the 2-guard – the spot where Roddy B was penciled in as the starter before the August injury.
"DeShawn has been a godsend,'' said Rick, tossing a polite bouquet to the likely-to-soon-be-demoted Stevenson.
Let's be logical about all this as we try to gauge Roddy B's readiness for Wednesday:
"If he has another good day on Tuesday'' … why WOULDN'T he have another good day on Tuesday?
The Mavs are at home against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. An idea time (and opponent) to FREE RODDY B. Wait much longer? Well, they play at Phoenix Suns on Thursday, and then comes All-Star Weekend. Dallas doesn't play again after that until Feb. 23. The Mavs need to see Roddy B on the floor sooner rather than later … for reasons that have to do, of course, with the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline … but heck, also because it's almost March.
I mean. … it's time.
Here's Roddy B's own thoughts -- "So far, so good!'' -- on the day:
This was actually Beaubois' second team practice. But it was the first opportunity for the uninitiated – like first-year Mavs center Tyson Chandler – to truly see the electric kid in action.
TY, your scouting report, please?
"He's going to help us," said center Tyson Chandler, who compared Roddy B's wingspan to his own. "That's one of the things we've been lacking: a young, athletic, energy-type guy at the guard position that can be explosive and get out in transition by himself. And it was fun to watch. I've never seen him play, just heard a lot of good things about him. And seeing him today in practice, it's impressive."
In conclusion, we go back to Roddy B, who finished up the full five-on-five work with some dazzling 3-point shooting.
"If I'm ready on Wednesday, if I feel good, I might play on Wednesday," Beaubois said.
PEJA ON STAGE: Thirty-nine straight.
I counted as Roddy B and Peja Stojakovic took turns in a 3-point shooting drill supervised by assistant coach Terry Stotts. Roddy made 14 of 15 at one point, quite a show –but not a show-stopper.
That description is reserved for Peja.
In recent years, we've seen the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Matt Carroll and Steve Novak put on shooting exhibitions. But maybe none quite like this.
The Peja Performance was so impressive that not only did the staffers who were still down on the practice court gather ‘round to take notice … Nowitzki and most of the rest of the players came back out of the locker room to check it out from up on the crow's nest at the top of the staircase.
At one point, Jason Terry was yelling "Stoy! Stoy!'' in an attempt to distract the Yugo marksman, who scored 22 on Saturday in his breakout game with his new team. But there would be no distracting Peja. I counted him making 24 of 25 at one point in the drill … and then a moment later a coach told me he'd rebounded from that single miss to make 39 straight.
It's fair to say Peja's got his groove back.P.S.: You are probably saying right now, "Hey, DallasBasketball.com! Do you have video of Peja's Perfection?''
Yes. Yes we do. Actually, we have so much footage that you even get to see Peja miss a couple ..
COLLECTION OF BIG BRAINS: Count 'em up:
*It's probably time for Dirk to go on a crazy-hot streak: Holger was in the house.
*Even Roddy B's free-throw work earned extra eyes, as assistant Monte Mathis and scout Desta Luca (a Roddy pal) both helped out.
*Special assistant Tim Grgurich spent time in conference with top aide Dwane Casey. Lots of basketball brain power there.
Oh, and Rick's big brain is on display, too!
MAVSELLANEOUS: Jet, how'd he look? "He looked real good,'' Jason Terry said. "Now, it's not a game, but it's as close as he's gonna get to it. (Fans) are going to remember what they've missed, but he's gonna remind them quickly. He's very impactful and explosive.'' ... JJB and Jason Kidd were not in attendance at the open-media portion of the workout, but no worries. They each got in full practices. ... What's Roddy B's position? "He's a 1-2, 2-1, a multi-position player,'' Rick said. ... Roddy B doesn't seem to mind the pressure. "That makes me want to work even more because they believe in me," Beaubois said of the FREE RODDY B movement. "That pushes me.'' See? If you purchase a t-shirt from the DB.com Store, you are HELPING YOUR MAVERICKS! ...
THE VERTICAL LEAP BET: On the recent plane trip home, DeShawn Stevenson apparently made the claim that he has a 35-inch vertical leap.
That's not Jordanesque or anything. But considering that DeShawn's no pup and that he's had back problems and that he was never considered Jordanesque in the first place … a 35-inch vertical is getting up there.
The problem with the claim is that there was no documentation of it. Strength-and-conditioning boss Robert Hackett doesn't always do training-camp measurements of such things with vets. So DeShawn made the claim …
And Brendan Haywood was at the front of the line of disbelievers.
"Absolutely no way he can do that,'' yelled Big Wood, a teammate of DeShawn's from their Washington days.
So all the players came back out for yet another show. The vertical-leap measuring device was erected by Hackett, and … well, watch and listen for yourself (in fact, if you want a "feel'' for a Mavs practice -- the mood and the chemistry and such -- this is as good as it gets):
In DB.com's unquenchable desire to KNOW everything … we had to find out: How high did DeShawn Stevenson go?
36 and a half. Or maybe 37. DeShawn Stevenson has a 35.6-inch vertical leap … and Big Wood, I believe, has an emptier wallet.
VALENTINE'S NOTES An assortment of heart-shaped thoughts:
*"I have two dates, my daughter this afternoon and my wife tonight," Carlisle said. Our buddy, CBS11's Steve Dennis, countered by saying "only one of those matter.'' Pity Mrs. Dennis. Or Sissy Dennis, either one ...
*Jet on Roddy B: "In the spirit of Valentine's Day we're gonna say that Roddy Beaubois will be the Mavs fans' Valentine."
*Tyson on the Chandlers' Valentine's tradition: "We alternate (being responsible for it). I get every other year off.''
*Hackett, chiding the unattached, on why so many players hung around to witness the Vertical Leap Bet: "It's Valentine's Day but some of them got no one to go home to.''
'STRANGLEHOLD ON SIXTH-MAN AWARD'? That's Jason Terry's boastful claim. He is the leader of the best-scoring bench in the NBA, and he is averaging 18 ppg this month. ... More from Jet and TY, with some clowning:
THE FINAL WORD:
"Expectations are going to be ridiculously unreasonable. I don't think there's any doubt about that.'' – That's Rick talking about Roddy B.
And I disagree.
Rotation player. With starter's ability.
That's the expectation right now.
It's just that after five months of waiting, we expect it on Wednesday, is all.