J.J. Barea reacts to getting knocked down
May, 8, 2011
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS -- At the top of his stall inside the Mavericks locker room, J.J. Barea has a small red fire truck.
It's almost as if Barea is the little engine that could.
Well, the Los Angeles Lakers tried to stop Barea, that little engine, and couldn't do it over four games.
Barea finished the sweep of the Lakers by scoring a playoff career-high 22 points in 26 minutes off the bench in the 122-86 Game 4 victory.
But toward the end of the clinching win, Barea was knocked down by a forearm to the ribs by the Lakers' Andrew Bynum on a drive to the basket. Bynum was ejected from the game for his actions.
"A little bit frustrated and they kept making layups," Bynum said. "No, I'm not disappointed in myself. It is what it is. We got embarrassed tonight, so that's what happened."
Barea said the hit by Bynum, which followed a forearm thrown by Lamar Odom at Dirk Nowitzki as they jockeyed for position, was cheap.
"Yeah, that’s not a basketball play," Barea said. "It happens sometimes in basketball. I got to be ready every time I drive the paint. Sometimes that happens."
It was the second time in this series a hit on Barea led to a Laker being ejected. At the end of Game 2 in Los Angeles, Ron Artest racked his hand across Barea's face. Artest was ejected and eventually suspended for Game 4.
Barea didn't think the Lakers were picking on him.
"Not really," he said. "It happens. I have nothing against them. It happens."
Barea's speed -- which allows him to drive to the basket, especially when he's able to take advantage of pick-and-rolls -- and his ability to hit open jump shots makes him a threat of the bench.
The Lakers never could contain Barea with a slew of guards including Steve Blake, Derek Fisher and even Shannon Brown.
But when Barea drove for a layup with 8:21 to play in the fourth quarter, when Bynum knocked him to the floor, it seemed enough was enough.
"I bet they played 10 replays of it on TV," Barea said of the hit. "It was a pretty good hit. I'm happy nothing really happened to me. I'm going to be a little sore, but just happy we got the win."