For a championship team, the Dallas Mavericks had their fair share of injury turmoil last season. Dirk Nowitzki’s relatively minor mid-season injury is the kind of obstacle that effective teams can overcome, but losing Caron Butler — who had arguably been the team’s second best player — for the season was an incredibly substantial setback, as was the false start on Rodrigue Beaubois’ sophomore campaign. Beaubois was deemed the Mavs’ x-factor from Day 1 of the 2010-2011 season; after a handful of highly productive performances in the season prior (capped with a controversial Game 6 salvo that saw Beaubois dominate his time on the floor before sitting out for almost the entire fourth quarter), Rick Carlisle was reported to finally be ready to play the hyper-athletic guard for significant minutes.
Thanks to nagging injuries and eventual complications, Beaubois’ minutes — and his entire season — never really panned out. But after a second foot surgery, Beaubois is again on the rehab trail, with an aim for a healthier result. From Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas:
The 23-year-old from Guadeloupe is still about a month away from running as he rehabs from a second surgery on his left foot, according to agent Bouna Ndiaye. As Mavs fans know, Beaubois fractured his left foot last summer while training with the French national team, underwent surgery and endured a protracted recovery process only to re-injure the foot in the regular-season finale. Ndiaye said Beaubois was never back to 100 percent, which might explain his disappointing stint of 28 games in which he rarely flashed the brilliant speed and driving ability of his rookie season. If the lockout is lifted and Mavs training camp opens on Oct. 4 as scheduled, Beaubois should be at, or close to, full strength.
Beaubois went from the hot new thing in Dallas to a bit of a punchline over the course of a single season, but he still has the potential to be a game-changing player. However, at this point in his career, Beaubois’ incredible athleticism is still his primary means to on-floor productivity, which makes a full recovery that much more important. Anything that tampers with his incredible burst speed could seriously hinder Beaubois’ game, which makes it a bit of a relief to see that he’s taking his rehab process seriously and slowly.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.