Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Barea has sprained ankle
By Jeff Caplan
Dallas Mavericks backup point guard J.J. Barea is doubtful with a sprained left ankle for Wednesday's home game against the New Jersey Nets as the team's injury list keeps rising with its win streak.
Dallas is seeking its 13th consecutive victory, which would tie the Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest win streak of the season.
The Mavs played their last two games with just nine players in uniform and without a true center. Still, they managed to score 122 points in a win over Chicago on Saturday and 125 points in defeating Minnesota on Monday.
Barea stepped on the foot of the Timberwolves' Darko Milicic and rolled his ankle. X-rays were negative, but Barea was fitted for a protective boot. He received treatment in Dallas on Tuesday, when he was ruled as doubtful against the seven-win Nets.
Dallas has been without sixth man Jason Terry (facial surgery), Erick Dampier (finger surgery), Brendan Haywood (lower back) and Tim Thomas (personal reasons). The good news is that Haywood and Dampier are getting to closer to a return. Both have had their status upgraded to day to day.
If Barea is out, it will probably force rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, who has been explosive while replacing Terry off the bench at shooting guard, to back up Jason Kidd at the point. DeShawn Stevenson could see an increased role at the two-guard behind Caron Butler.
The schedule is favorable for the ailing Mavs. After playing the Nets, they have two days off before facing the New York Knicks and then play just two games over the next seven days.
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.