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News » Busy backcourt works for Barea Guard enjoys more shooting opportunities playing alongside Kidd


Busy backcourt works for Barea Guard enjoys more shooting opportunities playing alongside Kidd


Busy backcourt works for Barea Guard enjoys more shooting opportunities playing alongside Kidd Size matters in the NBA, but that doesn't always mean bigger is better. Small is a size, too.

And when it comes to lineups, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle believes in diversity. Yes, he likes to have big men in the game. Most NBA champions have a strong inside presence.

But he also likes to use a three-guard lineup and has done so frequently in the preseason, especially with J.J. Barea occupying one of the spots. The 6-foot Puerto Rican has played 80 minutes in the three exhibitions, behind only Dirk Nowitzki (81 minutes) and Jason Kidd (83).

Barea's been on the court with Kidd and either Jason Terry or rookie Roddy Beaubois a lot.

"I love it," Barea says. "I love playing with point guards at the same time. It makes the job a lot easier for all of us. It gets the ball moving, and I like that."

Until Beaubois gains some experience, Barea figures to keep the job of backing up Kidd. But it can be argued that he's at his best when playing with Kidd, which allows Barea to look for his shot more. Throw in Terry and the smallish backcourt instantly gives the Mavericks plenty of offense in support of Nowitzki, Shawn Marion or whoever else is on the floor.

It should also keep Barea's minutes up, which is important because he will be trying to persuade the Mavericks to pick up the option year on his contract next season. Given that Barea is one of the best bargains in the league ($1.65 million this season with a $1.8 million option for 2010-11), it's hard to envision any scenario in which the Mavericks wouldn't retain him.

Still, after raising his minutes played and points in each of his first three years to 20.3 and 7.8 per game last season, Barea wants to keep the positive trend going. And heading into his fourth season, there's no reason that his role shouldn't continue to broaden.

Something else is working for him, too: a healthier left shoulder. He still isn't 100 percent after off-season surgery to repair a shoulder that popped out of its socket periodically last season.

"It's awesome playing without pain," he says. "It's still not completely pain-free, but it doesn't get out of place anymore."

Buyout being discussed: The agent for Shawne Williams and the Mavericks are discussing a possible buyout of the forward's contract.

"We're just trying to figure out what's best," Happy Walters said. "Obviously, the Mavs have too many contracts and they're going to have to figure that out."

Walters said Williams is willing to take less than the $2.4 million he's guaranteed for this season.

In addition, he said the reason Williams isn't with the team isn't necessarily because the Mavericks have told him to stay away. As much as the Mavericks don't want him around, Williams doesn't want to be a Maverick , either, Walters said.

He added that the idea of suspending Williams, which would mean docking his pay, seems unlikely.

Moving on up

J.J. Barea has climbed steadily in minutes, points and assists:

Season Min. PPG APG

2006-07 5.8 2.4 0.7

2007-08 10.5 4.3 1.3

2008-09 20.3 7.8 3.4

Mavericks PRESEASON SCHEDULE

OCTOBER

Day Date Opponent TV Time

Thu 15 Detroit HDNet 7:30

Sat 17 Cleveland Ch. 21 7:30

Tue 20 at Cleveland* HDNet 6:30

Fri 23 at Houston Ch. 21 7:30

*at Pittsburgh


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 15, 2009

 

 
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