J.J. Barea, at the ripe old age of 33, had the best season of his career last year, and I don’t feel like anyone really noticed. More points per game than ever, more assists per game than ever. And if you’re one of those sweaty dorks who disdains boxscore stats, he also had more winshares (both per minute and cumulative) than ever. By any measure, we were witnessing peak Barea.
But because he doesn’t dunk it, he was overshadowed on his own team by Dennis Smith Jr., who is simply way worse of a basketball player. At this point in his career, Barea is probably never going to dunk, so the situation will only get worse for him. The boost in popularity caused by being really short only slightly undoes the damage caused by not having highlight-reel slammy bams.
He’s been in a slump this year. Unlike last year, there is no reason to be especially hyped for him right now. He did have a 15/10 game which I ignored (soz), but that’s about it until last night. Apparently he told Dirk he was gonna get buckets, and then he did, and then Dirk told us all about it in a very offensive manner. Nikola Jokic just got fined for saying “no homo”, what about a fine for this guy who imitated Barea’s accent right from the broadcast booth?