This is the third post in a series here on Howlin’ T-Wolf ranking the Timberwolves roster player-by-player. Ideally, Derek, Tom or Jonah will post a new player everyday for 13 days. As always, you can follow Jonah (@howlintwolf) Derek (@DerekJamesNBA) and Tom (@Tom_NBA) on Twitter as well.
JJ Barea (or Jub-Jub) is one of the more polarizing Timberwolves on the roster: you either love him or you hate him. Kind of like <insert clever witty analogy that fits perfectly>. There really is no middle ground it seems in terms of how he’s viewed by fans. Either you’re inspired by the sight of a diminutive-still-six-foot-tall point guard breaking down the defense of giants or he’s a physically limited bit player who causes you to resent Mark Cuban for not retaining him and sparing you pain.
As for me, I’m a fan.
Yes, I know that his Usage Rate of 24% last season was a career high, and probably just too high. I also know that taking 10 shots per game to average 11 points per game in just 23 minutes per game is bad. And I know that there’s no way he can play anymore minutes than he does because of his “defense”.
I know this: When Barea missed extended time due to injury and the best ball-handler became Mike Beasley, things got pretty freakin’ ugly. When the offense would stagnate and the opposing defense got too comfortable, JJ provided a way to at least keep the defense honest. Sure, he’s a chucker, but his ability to draw attention and hustle enabled him to get seven double-doubles and a triple-double last season.
You have to take Jub-Jub for what he is. He’s not a starter, or spearhead of any positional revolution. On top of that you never have to wonder if he’s going to be putting in the effort each night. That of which is more than you can say about most of last year’s team once Ricky Rubio went down.
With all of that being said, Jub-Jub checks in at #10, and his ranking reflects his own abilities as well as the improvements to the roster.
Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter by using the #TwolfRank hashtag! The best tweets will be used in future posts as well.
@derekjamesnba he was alot better when dirk carried him like a backpack
— Kevin Brolan (@kevinbrolan) September 7, 2012
— Di (@femalesportslvr) September 7, 2012