Leandro Barbosa: The Green Blur

Growing up you must have met someone like Leandro Barbosa. Being a teenager and playing hoops during those long summers in Spain, I have got the chance to play with and against many kind of players. Some like to play in the post, as if you could picture them watching endless hours of Kevin McHale videos at home. Others were trying to live up to their John Stockton´s expectations: hours and hours looking for Karl Malone to continue racking up assists. There were certainly ball hogs à la Baron Davis that turned out to be more poor men versions of Mike James and of course there were many moves out there that tried to imitate the great Michael Jordan.

As for me, I always wanted to be like Larry Bird. I turned out to be a point forward in the body of a strong but not very athletic point guard: a very poor version of our own Antoine Walker.

Ok, maybe I got you to laugh a little bit. It´s Sunday and we should all laugh in a slow day like today.

What I was trying to tell you with all of this is that there was always a player in the mold of Leandro Barbosa out there playing hoops while you were a teenager. I will describe him to you: a faster than hell big point guard, someone who would always steal the ball from you because of his long arms. Someone who would always find a way to penetrate and do a layup despite the massive amount of players defending the rim. He would get 20 points on you easily, and I don´t say on your face because yours would be far from his when he got his points. When you finally managed to keep the player out from the paint a little bit you would find out that he could shoot very damn well the outside jumper and would even have a stretch in which he would bury a couple consecutive threes on you. This time it would really be on your face.

Leandro Barbosa reminds me to that kind of player growing up. He must have frustrated hundred of amateur players while growing up and now he is just showing his skills and talent for a decade in the NBA.

Barbosa is a gamer, a player that can simply play the game of basketball. He can score at volumes and he doesn´t need much time to heat up. He is build up to play the game: at 6.3 he can play both guard positions and while he is not a true play maker, he can also find his teammates in the huge spaces he creates while penetrating for a layup.

It is funny because if you watch him well, the last part of the play in which he leaves the ball up there is the fastest of all. You think the dribble and his first step are the real deal in his game but in fact it is the last magical part of the play that makes him be the Brazilian Blur.

We have also discovered that Barbosa has adapted more than well to the defensive oriented style of the Celtics. Let´s leave the talk to KG here:

Maybe Kevin Garnett said it best when he talked about Barbosa's "slither-ness." Garnett meant his ability to snake around on offense with his speed, but it's an excellent way to describe the way Barbosa is able to stick with opposing point guards.

"I think what he's known for is his slither-ness and being offensive-minded," Garnett said. "But what stood out about him is the competitor that he is. His IQ, obviously, it's the first thing you catch, but how well he is on defense.

"I don't think he's been in a situation like coming here with defensive players, defensive mindset, being a defensive team, and he's bought in. He's a team guy, great teammate, and in order for us to be anything, he's going to have to bring that."

He has bought in the Celtics style and spirit by using his very high IQ and this way he has in sneaking through the players and do what he does best for his team: to find ways to score for others and for himself and to prevent the other team from doing so. That is, to play good and genuine basketball for the Boston Celtics.

When the season started his role was in question since we already had Rondo, Terry, Lee and we would get Bradley back for Christmas. He was supposed to get a very reduced role in 2013 but he was proven he can be a vital part of the Celtics and a solid rotation guy for the vital moments that await us when Spring arrives.

Leandro Barbosa, a player that can do anything he wants out there. He will find the holes of the defense and drive his way to the basket even with his eyes closed. There is no way to stop the Brazilian Blur.

He is now the Green Blur, a part of the Celtics family and a key element to fight to get #18 to Beantown.


Leandro actually read this article and twitted about it:

It made my day that Barbosa read the article on Celticslife and that he twitted about it.

Awesome. Thanks a lot, Leandrinho! Let´s go Celtics