The Dallas Mavericks are going to need J.J. Barea while Luka Doncic is sidelined. Here is a look at how Coach Rick Carlisle could use the veteran point guard.
The Dallas Mavericks are about to embark on a difficult stretch of games. The week will be made harder by the absence of Luka Doncic from the lineup. The Mavs engine and MVP candidate injured his ankle on Saturday and is set to miss time. Fans can get the latest info here.
In the week ahead, Dallas travels to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Monday before returning home against the Celtics. It wraps up with road games on Friday in Philadelphia and Sunday in Toronto. Those are four of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference including the hottest team in the NBA.
The Mavericks will be forced to shift gears without Luka. Not only are they missing 30 points per game, but he is their top playmaking and ball-handler. Filling in for the 20-year-old star will not be easy.
J.J. Barea will become an important part of the rotation. The 35-year-old point guard has only played in seven of the 25 games thus far. The team is going to need his playmaking chops and his ability to change the game with Doncic sidelined.
Here is a look at how Coach Rick Carlisle should use Barea.
The Dallas Mavericks have Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson on the roster. They can fill the roles as the starter and backup point guard with Luka Doncic sidelined. Coach Carlisle should go with that set up and keep J.J. Barea in his spark plug role. He will be needed when the offense stagnates, or the Mavs are just struggling to get buckets.
Playing Barea with Dwight Powell should lead to plenty of scoring. They are a stellar pick and roll combo that can carve up any defense.
Barea is best in this role because he cannot handle the rigors of playing 20 to 25 minutes every game at age 35 coming off a torn Achilles. He needs to be used in spurts. Coach Carlisle needs to maximize his productivity with Luka Doncic out. Expect Barea to be an important piece for Dallas this week.
Plenty of players are going to have to be more productive with Luka Doncic out. It will be interesting to see how the team fares against the Bucks on Monday. The Smoking Cuban will be here to bring it all to Dallas Mavericks fans, so stay tuned.