Mavs’ Rick Carlisle unsure if JJ Barea will get more minutes moving forward
JJ Barea is a beloved figure among the Dallas Mavericks players as he’s one of the standout players that helped the Mavs win its first championship in 2011. However, his time in Dallas may be coming to an end as Rick Carlisle is uncertain about his future.
Tim MacMahon asked the Dallas head coach about the status of the 35-year-old guard from Puerto Rico within the team. The biggest question was if he’s going to get more minutes in Carlisle’s system. His answer didn’t directly address the question, only adding more questions to the minds of Dallas fans everywhere.
JJ Barea (DNP-CD in all but 3 games) has 35 points + 6 assists in 44 minutes. Will he play more? Rick Carlisle: “We’ll have to see. It’ll depend on the situation. But he certainly put everybody on notice that he’s ready, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that knows him.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 27, 2019
The only thing clear about Carlisle’s answer was that Barea isn’t going to get any minutes with the Mavs at the moment. While he’s been a great servant to the team, the Mavs seemingly have enough talent in the backcourt to feel confident about not giving Barea any more playing time other than during every odd game due to injury or load management.
However, this decision is a curious one. Based on the stats, Barea is actually performing better than some of their bench options. Through the three games he’s played, he’s averaged 11.7 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. He’s not statistically behind if you put his stats beside players like Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson, and Seth Curry.
However, his height is the one thing that does him in as a player. Standing at 5’10”, plenty of other guards can bully the veteran out of position. The taller point guards can even spot up in front of him and he won’t be able to properly contest.
It’s understandable to see where Carlisle is coming from with his decision. However, the season is long and an odd injury may see Barea back in the Dallas rotation.