Rick Carlisle mentioned last week that the Mavs’ rotation this season would continue to be fluid. That’s a must considering that he’s still working Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson into the mix, and that’s to say nothing of Erick Dampier’s injury that has kept him out of the lineup since February 16th.
I’m not sure it’s quite the same for the back-up point guard position, considering that both candidates have been with the team all season, but it at least makes sense of Carlisle’s rotation philosophy: play the players who deserve to play. A novel concept, right?
Last night’s game against the Timberwolves was simply the latest in the neck-and-neck race between J.J. Barea and rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, and it only confirmed what we already knew about Carlisle. Jason Kidd sat out to get some much-needed rest, leaving Barea and Beaubois to fight for minutes and opportunities.
Barea was something of a surprise starter, but his recent play has certainly warranted the nod from Carlisle. That said, under his watchful eye the Mavs came out in anemic fashion, allowing the lowly Wolves to seize momentum early. Beaubois came in to save the day, and he totaled a season (and career) high 17 points on 66% shooting with four assists. Roddy closed the game as the Mavs’ point guard, and helped the team squeak out a win despite some sub-par play.
Still, Barea turned a slow start into a decent, albeit completely unspectacular, game. So if Rodrigue started traveling towards Back-Up Point Guard City at a speed of one kilometer per minute from 65 miles away, and J.J. is going to the same destination but from a location 55 miles away and traveling at 21,160 inches per half-minute, who arrives to secure Carlisle’s trust and earn the role first?