Meet the Mavs' new back-up point guard


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.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.