There was no Steve Nash or Dirk Nowitzki. Before the "Big Three", Finley stood alone as The One, the clear cornerstone of the Dallas franchise. Coupled with the future league MVPs Nash and Nowitzki, he helped lead the Mavs to a decade of success. And while he hasn't been a part of the organization since 2004, the Mavs haven't had a player with the abilities of No. 4 since.
Until last night? It's entirely possible.
Rookie guard Rodrigue Beaubois continued displaying his hot hand, dropping 40 points for Dallas in a runaway win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, 111-90, in Oakland. And while Beaubois isn't a physical carbon-copy of Finley, standing seven inches shorter and weighing more than 50 pounds less, if you squint your eyes watching Beaubois, you'll see more than a hint of Finley.
Obviously Dirk is the franchise player, the greatest Maverick ever, and more important to any other player in terms of the success of this franchise for the next five years, at least. But it certainly can't hurt to have someone like Roddy B emerging from the depths of the bench as a surprise Tonto to Dirk's Lone Ranger act.
Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Caron Butler and Shawn Marrion are now all key cogs in this machine, but since the club said goodbye to Marquise Daniels, traded away Devin Harris for Kidd during the 2007-08 season, and sent Josh Howard to Washington earlier this season, it's been fair to wonder about the youth of this franchise.
Roddy the rookie is the youth movement for this franchise. And while head coach Rick Carlisle now has to figure out where to find more minutes for the youngster, who is more deserving with each performance, it's nice to see someone other than J.J. Barea who isn't already carrying an NBA AARP card.
Here's the current Mavericks 2009-10 roster by age:
|NO.||NAME||POS||AGE||HT||WT||COLLEGE||2009 - 2010 SALARY|
|11||Jose Juan Barea||PG||25||6-0||175||Northeastern||$1,657,500|
|13||Matt Carroll||SG||29||6-6||212||Notre Dame||$4,700,000|
|33||Brendan Haywood||C||30||7-0||263||North Carolina||$6,000,000|
|25||Erick Dampier||C||34||6-11||265||Mississippi State||$12,115,500|