Mavs coach Rick Carlisle calls J.J. Barea’s torn Achlles ‘gut-wrenching’
Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle has only one word to describe what the Mavs are feeling right now following the season-ending injury of J.J. Barea.
J.J. Barea suffered a torn Achilles tendon during Friday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He picked up the injury after cutting for a layup with a little over six minutes remaining on the clock. He writhed in pain while holding his right Achilles and was eventually brought to the locker room, finishing the night with 16 points and seven assists.
The injury effectively puts an end to Barea’s season and makes him doubtful at the start of the campaign. According to the latest reports, the NBA veteran and Dallas fan favorite is still weighing his options for surgery.
Rick Carlisle admits that losing Barea is undoubtedly a massive blow to the Mavs, but he remains optimistic and says he is hopeful that the 34-year-old will be able to return next season.
Rick Carlisle on JJ Barca’s torn Achilles: “It’s gut-wrenching for all of us. … I really do believe that he’ll be back [next season], but it’s hard to put into words what JJ Barea has meant to the Mavericks.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 13, 2019
Barea has been huge for the Mavs this season. While he didn’t star in any game for Dallas this year, he embraced the leading role off the bench for the team. Barea averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 19.8 minutes per game.
An important member of the title-winning Dallas team in 2011, Barea is in the final season of the four-year contract he signed with the Mavs in 2015. Unfortunately, his recent injury will likely play a key role in his free agency.