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Barea fits in nicely

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  January 18, 2010 07:55 PM

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After providing the Mavs with a spark of the bench early in the season, head coach Rick Carlisle inserted Barea in the starting backcourt alongside Jason Kidd in December for a stretch of 16 games, during which the Mavs beat some of the league’s elite including Cleveland, Denver and San Antonio. But after going 0 for 4 in 15 fruitless minutes against the Spurs, Barea found himself back on the bench. 

“There’s always going to be an adjustment there,” Carlisle said. “When you’re starting with Jason Kidd and Dirk and those guys. It’s a different kind of game thank if you’re waiting for the latter part of the first quarter to come in and now you’ve been sitting on the bench for a while. He’s done both and he’s done both effectively, he just needs to get back to the role of giving us energy, playmaking, shot-making and defense of the bench.” 

Said Barea, “It’s different. I started for like 15 games in a row, now you’ve got to come off the bench, you’ve just got to change your mindset.” 

He was never able to reach the NCAA tournament with the Huskies, thought they came close his senior year, falling to eventual Final Four miracle George Mason. But with The Huskies streaking – they’ve won nine straight after beating UNC-Wilmington over the weekend – he stopped by to check on his alma mater. 

“It’s always great I went to school today, checked out my team,” Barea said. “New coaches but they’re great guys. I think they’ve won 9 in a row. New gym, new stuff. They look good. 

He’s had the luxury of playing with an MVP in Dirk Nowitzki and a gold medalist in Jason Kidd. 

“It’s awesome,” Barea said. “It makes my life easier having those guys around and having J-Kidd in front of me, just to learn from him is the best.”
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