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Mavs Pre-Season 11 Days Away – A Look Back At J.J. Barea

As the Mavericks begin to close in on the start of the 2013-2014 season, we find the start of pre-season only 11 days away. As part of our featured countdown to the start, we are doing a segment on a Maverick who player who either once wore the #11, or does today.

When we looked at #11, there was only one real number that came to mind. There was the tough defender and 3-point specialist Raja Bell who did well during his stay in Dallas, but nobody quite captures the allure of the Dallas Mavericks other than Jose Juan Barea.

Atlanta Hawks v Dallas MavericksBarea played all four years at Northeastern and proved to be a very good college point guard. Once he graduated, he declared for the 2006 NBA Draft, but ended up undrafted. He then threw his hat into the NBA Summer League tournament, and participated with the Golden State Warriors. He also played as a Dallas Maverick in the Rocky Mountain Revue, where he would eventually earn a contract with the Mavericks organization. He would enter the 2006 season as the Mavericks back up point guard, but nothing really materialized for Barea. He would then be sent down to the NBA Developmental League, where he would only participate for a few games, eventually being recalled by the Mavericks. His role would be limited on and off throughout the season, but every once and a while he would show you a glimpse of some serious promise.

The 2007-2008 season brought forward a new challenge for Barea. The Mavs starting point guard Devin Harris fell to injury, which meant Barea would have to fill in. Rick Carlisle isn’t the easiest on young players, so Barea had his moments in the proverbial “dog house”. It wasn’t until the 2008-2009 season where Barea really started to get some playtime. Injuries would haunt the Mavericks during the season, which meant added minutes for the little point guard out of Puerto Rico. His ability to get to the rim and spread the floor with his jump shot added a challenge for opposing defenses, which is what Carlisle looked to do multiple times throughout the season.

The 2009-2010 season would be very similar to the year before. Barea continue to add where he could, but the season would eventually fall short once again for the Dallas Mavericks.

The following season would be the official launching pad for Barea’s career. Statistically, he had his best season with the Mavericks, averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. The Mavericks would reach the post-season for the 11th straight time, but this time around, things would be different. After disposing of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavericks would face the defending champion L.A. Lakers. After taking Game 1 of the series, J.J. Barea decided to make Game 2 his coming out party. On the NBA big stage, he scored 12 points off the bench in the 4th quarter, leading the Mavericks to a 2-0 lead in the series. In the Game 4 series clinching victory, the Mavericks put on a 3-point shooting clinic, provided by Jason Terry and Peja Stojokovic. It was Barea who finally got under the Lakers skin, or most importantly Andrew Bynum. bareaWith the game well in hand, Barea drove the lane for a floating layup, only to have Bynum’s elbow deliberately thrown towards his chest in mid-air. Bynum would be eventually ejected, but it’s proof of just how good of a player Barea is. He is a little point guard, with a big time heart, who continues to nag away at you until you are mentally exhausted.

The Mavericks would eventually take down the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, and then take down the Miami Heat in 6 games to win their first ever NBA Championship. He scored 15 points in the clincher and is only the 2nd Puerto Rican player to win the NBA Championship.

Following the Mavericks epic championship season, Barea signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He will be entering his 3rd season with the Timberwolves, but doesn’t rule out a return to the Dallas Mavericks in the future.

“It’s a great relationship with Mark Cuban. If they want to bring me back to Dallas, I am very good with it”


Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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