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Who Is JJ Barea?

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JJ Barea just might be the best player you have never heard of. Jose Juan Barea, or JJ to many, is a Puerto Rican basketball player who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks. At only a listed 5 foot 9 inches tall, and many say he is really only 5 foot 7, Barea, 24, first attempted to enter the NBA in the 2006 NBA draft, but was left undrafted.

That did not make him give up, because he went to go play for the Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas summer league and drew the attention of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Cuban could not pass up this young player, as the Mavs were looking for point guards back then. Barea would become the 7th Puerto Rican born player to play in the NBA.

Barea has had experience playing against the likes of Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James in the FIBA leagues. Barea was the starting point guard for both the Silver winning Pan American and gold winning Central American Puerto Rican teams.

But how did this young player reach the NBA? Well, he moved to Miami Florida when he was only 17 years old, and played his senior high school year at Miami Christian School. During that year, Barea led his small team to the 1A division title. Barea was the team leader and averaged 24.8 points per game and was made Florida's High School Player of the year.Barea was a four-year letterman at Northeastern University from 2003-2006. In 2005 and 2006, as a junior and senior, he was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. Barea was selected to the All-America East First Team twice.

During his freshman year (2002-03), Barea led the team and was third in America East in scoring (17.0 ppg}. During his sophomore year (2003-04), Barea led the team and was second in the conference in scoring (20.7 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg). During his junior year (2004-05), Barea ranked second in the America East and eighth in the country in scoring (22.2 ppg). During his senior year (2005-06), Barea was awarded an Honorable Mention All-America by The Associated Press.He finished third in the country in assists (8.4 apg) and was named CAA Player of the Year.

Barea would eventually spend most of his 2007 season in the D-League. He played with the Fort Worth Flyers and would be brought up by the Dallas Mavericks. Barea has played 156 career games with the Mavs, and has averaged 5.7 points, and 2.3 assists per game. All that coming from off the bench. Barea will most likely continue his amazing career with the Mavs this year playing back up point guard and shooting guard behind Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

Barea's game is based on getting into the paint. The quicker he can break through, the quicker he can dish out to his perimeter guys. Barea isnt afraid to throw up a jumper every now and then, and has been known to break some ankles.

Free Throws are also no problem for Barea, who has a career .756 free throw percentage. Barea knows how to get the fouls he is looking for to get his team back into close games, and get big men into early foul trouble.

As Barea preps to play the Lakers tonight, he will look to be matched up with Derick Fisher, which will give Barea an edge with his speed. He will also be matched with Jordan Farmer, and one Kobe Bryant who will be his biggest problem. Expect Barea to put up MONSTER stats tonight as he plays Kobe and his gang in L.A.

Barea doesn't mind playing off the bench, in fact, he loves it. He knows that once Kidd retires that he will be the main man in the big D. Look for this young scrapper Barea for many years to come, and expect him to eventually be in the HOF. At least, I think he will.

Witten by me for school artical. Still in the works.
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