J.J. Barea has been with the Dallas Mavericks for a long time and has played with a lot of teammates Nerlens Noel may be moving his way up on Barea’s list of favorites though.
The Dallas Mavericks have long relied on J.J. Barea as a scoring threat when on the court, and have looked past his sub-par assist numbers in return. Barea has always been a capable passer, but his willingness to get in the lane and score and the slow Mavs offense have made his assist numbers nothing to look at.
However, this season Barea has found a few more people to pass to. JJ normally averages 3.4 assists per game throughout his career. This year so far, Barea is dishing out 5.4 assists per night, good for the 2nd best average of his career and best in a Mavs uniform. Is JJ turning over a new leaf?
Barea has found another target to lock in on when driving to the basket, and that target is Nerlens Noel. The Dallas Mavericks offense may sputter at times, but it is at its best in the pick and roll. This offense suits the player that is highest above the rim and, in this case, the player lowest below the rim (Barea).
JJ has always liked the alley-oop and has worked well in the past with those who can catch it. Tyson Chandler, Brandan Wright, even Dwight Powell have all been some of Barea’s favorite targets in the pick and roll due to their ability to get over the rim.
Here is one example…
And a few more…
And sometiemes, they dont have to be alley oops…
The point I am making is this: J.J. Barea is having close to a career year in assists, and it has really taken off since he and Noel got on the floor together. In fact, his two highest assist games of the season have come with both on the active roster, one of which was the first game they played together.
If nothing else, it is nice having a few teammates who are willing to toss the ball up for Noel and watch his athleticism do its thing. We’ve let too many of our high-risers leave Dallas, but this one looks like he is here to stay.
I’m guessing JJ is just fine with that.