Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea tears Achilles and its impacts on the roster
By Lance Roberson
The Dallas Mavericks lost their fearless leader J.J. Barea on Friday night. He suffered a torn Achilles which was confirmed on Jan. 13.
The Dallas Mavericks were locked in a wild battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 11. In a night filled with magic, J.J. Barea led the second unit, per usual, in the ultimate game of scoring runs. The Dallas Mavericks allowed a 13-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter, although with a strong resilient push from the team, the Mavs managed to win the game. However, capturing the W was not without cost.
Barea led the bench with 16 points on 50 percent shooting and totaled seven assists with no turnovers to boot. Unfortunately, before the Mavs could escape with a rare win on the road, J.J. fell after being fouled by Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague with 6:36 left on the game clock.
Considering the toughness of the fearless six-foot point guard, it was ominous seeing him wince in pain while grabbing his Achilles.https://ssl.cdn.turner.com/nba/big/nba/wsc/2019/01/12/d53f0711-f68f-a40d-0949-ad6636f9b309.nba_3114394_1920x1080_5904.mp4
Despite the foul, the bucket was converted in true J.J. fashion. Many on Twitter speculated whether or not if it was it was his Achilles he hurt. In moments where a player is on the ground for an extended period of time, you don’t want to try and play doctor, instead, you just hope the athlete will be ok.
Unfortunately, for J.J., he is done for at least the rest of the season. Factor in his age and it’s hard to see him bounce back with the same relentlessness he showcases when attacking the paint. Perhaps, Barea’s playing career isn’t over, but in the meantime, fans can only hope Friday night wasn’t his last NBA game.
The initial aftermath of Barea’s injury
When a door closes, a window opens. In the Mavericks’ case, the door was shattered and it’ll take a while to fix it. The first player who comes to mind to fill in minutes for Barea is Jalen Brunson. For reasons only known by Rick Carlisle, Brunson isn’t seeing as much time as fans envisioned after the glimpses they saw earlier in the season.
There is a silver lining amid a terrible situation. According to SportsDay’s Brad Townsend, the Mavs won’t likely acquire another guard and instead will go with Brunson.
Next man up is indeed the approach, rather than messing with the team’s chemistry by adding an outsider. Brunson, though not as dangerous as his point guard counterpart, is equipped with a keen sense of awareness, and in the past five games has found his stroke from the 3-point line.
Brunson’s last five appearances give MFFL’s faith that he can steer the ship of the second unit while Barea focuses on surgery.
Jalen Brunson has the ultimate shot at securing the position of the second in command at point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. The window of opportunity is in sight, what will he do with it?