Rodrigue Beaubois is off crutches, hopes to be ready for the Mavs' season opener

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Thumbnail image for nba_beaubois.jpgRodrigue Beaubois’ broken foot put a huge damper on the French national team’s chances at the FIBA World Championships, but with an already limited team (Tony Parker, Mickael Pietrus, Ronny Turiaf, and Joakim Noah were all notable NBA no-gos), France would have faced a long and trying road with or without Beaubois.

Now, with France eliminated from contention, we turn to how that injury is likely to affect the Mavericks in the coming season, and unfortunately, Beaubois’ timetable for return is no more concrete today than it was the day of his surgery.

However, we do know this: Beaubois is no longer crutching his way around the Mavs facilities, so he is progressing somewhat, and is keeping his eye on Dallas’ regular season opener. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

Roddy Beaubois was doing his best Lance Armstrong on Thursday in the Mavericks’ locker room, pedaling the stationary bike up and down imaginary hills. That and weightlifting is about all he can do. He still wears a protective walking boot on his left foot, which needed a pin inserted in it to stabilize a broken bone near the outside of the foot suffered in early August. At least he’s not on crutches anymore.

…”I was feeling a little pain for a couple days, but they X-rayed it and didn’t see anything,” Beaubois said. “I couldn’t feel it every time, so I thought maybe it’s nothing. Sometimes I’d feel it for a couple of minutes. But I’d come back and it would be good. Then, one day, whoa, it just broke. When it broke, I knew it. I knew it was something bad.” Beaubois said he’s hopeful to be ready to go by the start of the regular season on Oct. 27.

Beaubois’ role for the coming season hadn’t been set in stone before he broke his foot, and now it’s possibly even more ambiguous. The Mavs were considering starting Beaubois alongside Jason Kidd next season, but If Rick Carlisle is still looking for reasons not to play Beaubois serious minutes (in fairness to Carlisle, that doesn’t seem to be the case), this could be as good of a justification as any.

Either way, without the benefit of training camp or preseason reps, expect Beaubois to come out of the gate rusty. He wasn’t in the best of shape even during his rookie season (an odd thing to say about a lightning quick guard, I know), and being off the court for so long won’t help.

There’s no reason to believe that Beaubois’ sophomore campaign won’t be a rousing success overall, especially if given the playing time and opportunities he deserves. Expect delays on his takeoff next season nonetheless.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. 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.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: