The Brazilian Blur: How Effective Can Leandro Barbosa be for the Suns?

 

Feb 10, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Leandro Barbosa (12) dribbles the ball against Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (back) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Leandro Barbosa “The Brazilian Blur” was signed to a 10-day contract in time to suit up and play 13 minutes for the Suns in their 104-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday.

Despite his ACL tear last year, Barbosa was playing in the Brazilian league, but didn’t seem to miss a step after being inserted back into a Suns jersey. In his limited minutes, Barbosa scored three points, grabbed three boards, dished out three assists and blocked a shot.

Not bad for “the Road Runner”.  He is so fast he is known as the Brazilian Blur or the roadrunner. He finishes off his tweets with #Meepmeep or #Beepbeep, which is the sound the roadrunner makes in the old Looney Tones cartoon.  

With the Bledsoe injury/surgery news, Phoenix may have to rely on Barbosa to run the offense when Dragic needs to rest for a bit. Ish Smith can dish out the dimes on a semi-consistent basis, but isn’t much of a threat to score apart from the occasional fastbreak or broken-play drive-and-score. Barbosa has some range and is faster and bigger than Smith with much more NBA experience.

Barbosa will be a great player to relieve Dragic, but isn’t good enough to keep Dragic on the bench for extended periods of time. Dragic will have to play a few more minutes every game to stabilize the offense.

This also has more repercussions. Green will have to start, and the starters will have to outplay their opponents’ starters, because the bench could have trouble scoring. The bench would be Smith, Barbosa, the Morris twins and either Len or Goodwin/Christmas depending on if they wanted to play small or big. That means the offense would have to basically run through Markieff and he’d have to be efficient.

If Barbosa gets a contract for the rest of the season, he will help the Suns a lot, but needs to reach another level if the Suns are going to make the playoffs and make some noise.  

Topics: Basketball, Eric Bledsoe, Leandro Barbosa, NBA, Phoenix Suns

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