Barbosa provided one of the only positive memories last night
Ok so the Celtics trip to South Beach did not go as planned last night. The C's couldn't stop the Heat's stars and they couldn't stop their role players. Hell I'm pretty sure Alonzo Mourning scored in double figures last night, it was that ugly on the defensive end.
But offensively the Celts actually played really well. They put up 107 points while shooting 52% from the floor, 46% from three and 82% from the line. Where did the scoring come from? Paul Pierce (23 points) and Rajon Rondo (20) led the way, which surprised all of 0 people. But the team's third leading scorer? Well that would be the guy who joined the team all of 6 days ago and appeared in zero pre-season games - Leandro Barbosa. The Brazilian blur scored 16 points in a 9 minute span of the 4th quarter and he helped the Celtics make their best run of the game.
Barbosa filling it up shouldn't surprise anyone, after all he has scored 18.3 points per 36 minutes in his career (the 3rd best number on the Celtics roster behind KG and Pierce). But the fact that he basically climbed off the street to make such a big impact was damn impressive. In a game that didn't have a ton of bright spots, Barbosa provided a feel good moment. Doc spoke about Barbosa glowingly earlier today saying,
I love him, the way he attacks. He's clearly not scared of the moment. He bailed us out. We got back in that game down the stretch and it was because Barbosa was on the floor
It certainly was. Barbosa's one man run helped the Celtics make things interesting before they eventually fell and hopefully gave them a little momentum to ride into Friday night's home opener. It also helped take the stink off an otherwise putrid bench performance (JET and Jeff Green just didn't get into a rhythm, I don't expect that to continue) and gave the C's something they have sorely missed in years past, a guy who can provide an instant spark off the bench.
If Barbosa can provide that spark on a somewhat consistent basis I expect that we will look back on an otherwise disappointing opener as a positive experience for this team by the time this season ends.
And at the very least the Brazilian blur has got to be the best nickname in this city right now.