The Dallas Mavericks just officially signed veteran J.J. Barea to a one-year deal, so what can we expect from the 35-year-old point guard?
As expected, the Dallas Mavericks welcomed back fan-favorite, J.J. Barea, to the team this season. Barea has been a fixture in Dallas through most of his career, and is coming off one of the best seasons of his career.
Unfortunately, he’s also coming back from a career-threatening achilies rupture. For a player who relies on speed and quickness so much, a loss in explosion could have a significant impact on his ability to generate offense. So how much can be expected of the former World Champion?
As many know, bouncing back (so to speak) from achilies injuries is far from automatic. We saw it first hand with Wesley Matthews. Before signing with the Dallas Mavericks in 2015, Matthews suffered his own achilies injury. Despite his best efforts, he was noticeably slower an less explosive in the years following. And he was only 28-years-old. J.J. Barea is trying to come back at the ripe old age of 35.
Historically, Barea has been a match-up nightmare on offense. The diminutive ball-handler operates like a waterbug – moving and shaking his way through a defense with the ability to dish it off, take it to the basket, or spot up from deep. But all of this relies on his explosion and quickness. Without it, his entire game is at risk.
Additionally, Barea is going to face competition on the second unit. Second year PG Jalen Brunson is looking to carve out a bigger role this season. When Barea went down last season, it was Brunson who picked up the slack. The budding young talent isn’t going to hand it back over without a fight. And with Barea’s best days now behind him, it would be foolish for Mavs to hand it over as well.
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The undeniable truth is J.J. Barea made the Dallas Mavericks second unit what it was. He and Dwight Powell combined to form a pretty formidable force off the bench. And many times, it was the second unit out performing the first unit – they were the ones keeping the Mavs in the games.
It’s also worth pointing out, Rick Carlisle absolutely adores Barea. As a coach who demands a lot from his PGs, his trust in Barea cannot be understated. If Barea can play, you can bet Coach Carlisle will play him.
How much of an impact will J.J. Barea have with the Dallas Mavericks this season? If he loses his quickness and explosion it won’t be much. But it’s likely Barea will follow the path of Kristaps Porzingis and be under that all-so-popular “load management”. If Barea can play fresh and show explosion early, it’ll be good sign for his future his ability to reclaim his old role.
- Published on 08/20/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 08/20/2019 at 09:27 AM