MILNNEAPOLIS -- The Dallas Mavericks will get their first look at JJ Barea since the ex-Mavs guard signed a four-year, $19 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the offseason.
Barea, who sat last Friday’s game against Miami after straining his left hamstring earlier in the week, is expected to play in tonight’s Mavs-Timberwolves game -- tipoff is at 6 p.m. That’s because he’s fired up going against the team he helped win last year’s NBA title.
“He’s fired up all the time,’’ T-Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “Even in practice he gets fired up.
“He really wants to play tonight. I’m more concerned with making sure that hamstring is good to go and he doesn’t any repercussions from that.’’
Barea just wants to show his former teammates that he hasn’t lost anything.
“It’s going to be weird playing against my teammates,’’ Barea said. “I’ll be talking the whole game, and I can’t wait to go out there and guard Jet (Jason Terry) and see how that is.’’
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle admitted that while he misses Barea, he understands the business side of the NBA.
“JJ is a terrific player,’’ Carlisle said. “Over five years with the Mavericks really proved himself. He brought real grit and guts to the team.
“While I’m very happy for him that he got himself a great contract, it’s tough seeing him leave and it’s going to be tougher playing against him. He’s probably the NBA’s most effective 5-10 shooting guard.’’
-- Dwain Price
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