The one (slight?) concern that Celtics fans had in the beginning of the season was the lack of a pure backup PG. There were two sides to that: Yes, it is very important to cut Rondo's minutes efficiently, yet there are no backup PGs available who can do that at a satisfactory level. Celtics' experiments with veteran PGs have not been the best as we all know (save for Dooling's invaluable presence in the locker room), so my guess was that that role would be distributed amongst Terry and a Bradley – Pierce (as point forward) combo. Yet out of nowhere came the Barbosa signing, which felt really good for he is a quality player that has been underappreciated due to his latest stints.
Greg Payne of ESPN Boston has evaluated the many faces Barbosa have shown us so far today, and I will add some to that: He singlehandedly carried the team for 15 minutes in a loss to Heat (16 points on 75% shooting), then he got limited minutes and was inefficient for 5 games averaging 1.8 points, 0.8 TOs and 1.2 assists. He looked lost on the court at times (not a fault as Doc has obviously been trying to define his role), and tried to do different things in different games: Against Wizards, he only shot 3 pointers, against Bucks he took 6 shots to miss them all. Last night, however, he finally got the same amount of minutes he did against the Heat, scored 6 points on penetration, got 3 assists (season high) and only 1 TO.
Molly: So Leandro, what do you think your role will be for this Celtics team?
It is not clear how Barbosa will serve in Celtics. He is solely here to relieve Rondo’s minutes, but things might change when Bradley gets back: Terry might (and most likely will) come off the bench, Doc might prefer Bradley-Pierce combo that worked great while Rondo was out for 9 games last season etc. However, Barbosa has shown us that he can penetrate and he has above average court vision (his only TO last night came because he tried a Rondoesque pass to Garnett, which is not as bad as it looks on the stat sheet). Versatility is never bad for Celtics’ bench, and how his role evolves will be important in finding out that identity.