Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea will play a key role down the stretch
Even at 35 years old coming off a torn Achilles, J.J. Barea continues to be a walking bucket. He is averaging 20.9 points per-36 which is a career-high. He also ranks in the top-15 as a pick and roll ball handler this season by scoring 1.09 points per possession according to NBA Stats. Luka Doncic averages 1.06.
The Mavericks are going to need it down the stretch. Perhaps the offense stagnates or they are facing a tough defensive team that is slowing the game down. Insert Barea and watch the points fly up on the scoreboard. He can always make it happen.
Barea is not just a scorer, though. He gets the entire offense rolling. Over the last four seasons combined, J.J. averages 9.6 assists per-36. It goes back to the pick and roll. Barea is skilled at throwing a lob or finding a wide-open teammate.
Expect Barea to run some pick and rolls with Maxi Kleber and Willie Cauley-Stein in the second unit down the stretch. WCS could show off his threat as a lob target to Mavericks fans.
Coach Rick Carlisle will need J.J. Barea in the playoffs. First, he is the only current Maverick with an NBA championship ring. Barea was part of the 2011 Mavs title team. That experience will be key to the young team.
Barea also has the ability to change a series. He will come in and lead the Mavs on a run with the second unit. That could swing a game in Dallas’ favor and ultimately change a series. There are no guarantees, but expect Barea to get playoff minutes.
Next: More minutes?