Barbosa ballin’ in FIBAs

Posted by on September 2nd, 8:55 pm

Leandro Barbosa

Leandro Barbosa

For Suns fans, witnessing Leandro Barbosa put up a barrage of points in a matter of minutes is far from a rarity. While the FIBA Americas is not quite the same as facing the Spurs and Lakers on back-to-back nights, LB’s stellar play should be noted nonetheless.

Barbosa went into today’s FIBA Americas game against Canada averaging 18.4 points per game in 30.6 minutes of action. Barbosa along with fellow countryman and Cleveland Cavalier Anderson Varejao had led Brazil to a 5-0 record entering today’s game.

With a trip to the 2010 World Championships and an undefeated record on the line, Brazil bested Canada, 68-59. LB brought his game face to the tune of 31 points on 11-for-16 shooting in 37 minutes of play.

A Brazilian team that features only one other NBA player (Varejao) is now 6-0 and could potentially play four more games if the squad makes it to Sunday’s championship game. As for LB, he is averaging 20.5 points per game on 60 percent shooting and has been arguably the best player in the tournament and far and away Brazil’s MVP.

Although the whole NBA world knows about LB’s scoring prowess, it is nice to see that he can fill it up on any team, against any team, in any system. For those who believe he is simply a product of the Suns’ run-n-gun system, think again; for maybe it is the Suns’ style of play that is a byproduct of Leandro’s unbelievably unique skill-set. Just a thought.

Even if it is all of the way in Puerto Rico, Barbosa continues to prove that when he is on the floor, good things happen. He is not a point guard, he is not a shooting guard, he is simply a scorer, and a damn good one.  While I am not going to once again state my case for why Barbosa needs to start in a Suns uniform, he needs to play 30 minutes a game, no matter the position.

If Alvin Gentry can get LB at least 30 minutes a game, while keeping J-Rich happy and productive, the Suns should have no problem eclipsing the century mark on a nightly basis. Next order of business … defense.

Mike Schmitz

Mike Schmitz is a former ValleyoftheSuns writer who now works as an assistant video coordinator for the D-League\\’s Bakersfield Jam. He specialized in video breakdowns for VotS.

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Tags: Leandro Barbosa · Phoenix Suns News

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Artur Mascarenhas // Sep 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I've watching almost all of Brazil's game in this tournament and I'm very impressed with our team. Our new coach, spanish Moncho Monsalve found a good system and a player rotation that enforce speed, defense and shot selection.

    That been said, I gotta say that LB can score at will at this tournament. There's absolutely no one that can guard him.

    He still has to work on his shot selection (on his first game, agains Domenican Rep, he was 1-8 from 3pt line) and passing (high turnover ratio) but he is improving on defense and, also important, leadership.

    He is kinda shy guy, but players are looking for his leadership and I think he can lead, if not by words, at least by example.

    I want also to praise Varejao, he' s been a beast on boards and defense and hitting some mid-range shots too.

    Tiago Splitter is an excellent player and, if he can develop his offensive game a little bit, he will be a formidable NBA player.

    Our point guard, Marcelo Huertas, has been playing very well lately, taking wise decisions with the ball, always finding the open man and taking to the hoop when necessary.

    Gotta say about Alex Garcia too – a undersized but relentless SG – a guy who brings TONS of energy to the court. Tireless on defense and a terrible mismatch offensively being a great lefty shooter and slasher.

    Finally, talking about the Suns, I'd love to see LB as a starter bringing J-Rich as a second-unit leader.

  • 2 twalter // Sep 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    LB/J-Rich/Healthy Amare will have no problem scoring.The problem is going to be defense. The Suns have the speed to stick with people though, so atleast that is a start.

    http://www.NBATradeRumorsCentral.com – Most up to date trade rumors

  • 3 Scott // Sep 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Defense is for suckers. Late 1980′s Denver Nuggets here we come.

  • 4 B. Cray .Z // Sep 3, 2009 at 11:55 am

    When LB starts, his team wins.
    This has been true 4 our Suns.
    Nash and LB in the backcourt will blow the other team away. With a huge early lead, Suns can rest their main guys late. Fresh 4 the following game.
    MUST start LB. Let’s go SUNS.

  • 5 cRAZY rOB // Sep 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I was thinking if we did this:

    PG – Nash
    SG – Barbosa
    SF – JRich
    PF – Hill or Amar’e
    C – Amar’e or Frye/Fropez

    How insane would that be for a starting five?

  • 6 jay thatch // Sep 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    i like crazy rob’s approach! it would be fun until the playoffs arrived at any rate.

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