The leader of the Dallas Mavericks is not who you think it is

Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea Devin Harris Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea Devin Harris Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the absence of Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks have needed a leader on the court to step up and push this team. That leader may not be who you expect it to be.

The hot streak that the Dallas Mavericks are currently on cannot be attributed to just one player. In fact, almost every player in the regular rotation has had a key role in the Mavs recent push towards .500. The bench has been playing some of their best ball, not only this season, but in their careers.

This Mavs team is full of leadership that could help out just about any team in the league. Starting from the top, you have Harrison Barnes. HB is a veteran in the league and is a veteran for the Dallas Mavericks at this point and he should be looked at as one of the main leaders of this team. However, he is still fairly soft-spoken.

Next you have Wesley Matthews, a vocal leader on the court, but struggling to gain the respect he deserves from his younger years. Wes is a good player and a smart veteran, but he doesn’t fit the need for the team, especially when he gets too upset to keep his head on straight.

DeAndre Jordan makes a lot of sense as a leader based on his accomplishments and his abilities, but he is too new to the Mavs and has not had the most seamless transition to the team so it doesn’t seem like a good fit. He is better served as the team comedian, keeping the mood light and fun.

The other starters for Dallas are Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. who are both still too young to legally drink alcohol. Although I would not have a problem with either of these guys being leaders on a younger team, the Mavs have plenty of veterans to take care of that job. Luka is better off just focusing on maximizing his game right now.

So now we go to the bench. Devin Harris is a very important player to this team. He is great at a lot of things and he is one of the most loyal players the Mavs have ever had. He is energetic, active and a fun player to watch when healthy. If he is not the #1 captain, he should be viewed as #1a.

Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith and the other bench guys all contribute to the team and have proven to be good locker room guys but are not quite fit to be key leaders to this squad.

No, the Mavs vocal and system leader is none other than J.J. Barea. Barea has been with the team for a long time and has been an effective bench player the entire time he has been here. There are very few in the league that are capable of doing what Barea is able to do at his size and age. The veteran from Puerto Rico has proven time after time that he should not be overlooked.

While in the locker room after the blowout win against the Utah Jazz, Barea talked a lot about how he knew he needed to push these young guys and be a leader for them. He understands that there are two young guards with miles of potential and that he is tasked with at least showing them the ways he has been able to find success.

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Maybe it wasn’t a secret to all of you, but Barea is the undoubted leader of this Mavs team, even coming off the bench. Other teams would be lucky to have such an experienced player pushing the young starts in the right direction and that is just another reason that J.J. Barea is so valuable to this team.