Meet the Mavs' new back-up point guard

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For the entirety of the regular season to date, the Dallas Mavericks’ point guard rotation has been fairly cut and dry: future Hall-of-Famer Jason Kidd provides on-court leadership and gets most of the minutes, and lightning-quick reserve J.J. Barea would counter Kidd’s pass-first approach with his more aggressive scoring game.

No longer. Barea has officially been relegated to mop-up duties as the third string shooting guard, and dynamite rookie Rodrigue Beaubois has stepped into the back-up point guard role…unofficially. From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Carlisle hasn’t publicly declared that Beaubois has taken the backup point guard reins from J.J. Barea,
but that clearly is the case. Beaubois had barely seen any minutes at
point guard until recently, but he’s been the first guard off the bench
in the past few games when Kidd gets his early breather.

“He’s earned [more minutes] because he’s worked to get better,”
Carlisle said. “He’s spent a lot of time studying the league and
opponents and film of games that we’ve played. He’s continued to make
progress, therefore I really feel like he’s earned the opportunity for
him to get into the rotation.”

The rookie, whose English has also improved significantly since he arrived in Dallas soon after the draft, gets it.

“I had a lot of things to learn,” Beaubois said. “I’m working every day
to get better. I think in practice I showed interesting things, so the
coach decided to give me minutes.

“I understand that I’m a rookie. I can’t control [playing time]. The
only thing I can control is getting better, so I just work. That’s it.”

Most of Beaubois’ minutes up to this point had come at the off-guard, where he was gaining valuable playing experience, albeit not point guard experience. Beaubois has averaged 12.5 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.5 turnovers 20.3 minutes per game since shifting to the point last week. He’s also shot 53.3% from the field (8-15 FG) and an impressive 83.3% from three (5-6 3FG) over that span. Meanwhile, Barea has played a total of eight minutes over the same two-game stretch.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).