Jose Juan Barea NBA Draft Scouting Report
Apr 09, 2006, 04:49 pm
One of the most fiery competitors in the college game, Jose Juan Barea is a rare point guard who shows excellent ability to both score and get his teammates involved.
Physically, Barea makes up for his smallish stature to a certain extent with his excellent quickness as well as his outstanding basketball instincts. If needed, Barea can surprisingly go to the hoop and dunk the ball with authority as he has extremely strong legs and a very nice vertical leap. It would not be a huge surprise to see him do his in the NBA, as he has a Pitbulls mentality, and is constantly in attack mode.
As a point guard, Barea is very much adept at finding the open man, as his outstanding 8.4 assists per game will attest. Hes your consummate modern day floor general who can score as well as run his team effectively, showing very good court vision finding his teammates unselfishly, particularly on the drive and dish. Barea is a quick thinker who sees plays as they happen, and will feed his man instaneously with a lob or backdoor bounce pass for an easy layup, showing very good timing in the process. Its the tougher and flashier passes that he actually excels the most in.
Playing alongside better teammates than he had at Northeastern, for example at Portsmouth or with the Puerto Rican national team, Barea showed to be an even better point guard than anyone could have predicted based on what was seen in college.
In these settings Barea showed the ability to push the tempo of the game intelligently while still staying under control, making numerous pin-point accurate full court passes to a wide open man or getting in the paint himself. Barea looks out of control at times with the way he plays, but this might be due more to how fast he thinks, acts and improvises-- rather than because of a lack of poise. He shows an incredibly wide variety of passes in his arsenal, whether with a beautiful bounce pass from the perimeter or from 50 feet away, moving left or right from outside and slinging a perfect one-handed pass to a cutter, driving and dishing no-look passes with incredible creativity, or with an assortment of underhanded or over-handed alleyoop lobs. Most of his assists are for easy dunks, layups or wide open looks from behind the arc, as he makes the game extremely easy for his teammates, passing the ball equally well to everyone to make sure they all stay happy and knowing exactly where to place it to ensure that it finds it's way into the opponent's basket.
Barea's perimeter game is extremely advanced and shows most of the moves you would expect from a player with years of experience creating shots for himself. Hes a terrific ball-handler, going left or right equally well. Barea has an excellent crossover, as well as a wide array of other hesitation moves to keep his man off balance and constantly guessing. He improvises extremely well and is very adept at creating something out of nothing when the offense bogs down.
Barea sees small openings in the defense and will react immediately to exploit them, splitting the double team right down the middle to shred apart the defense if needed. His body control is excellent and he really knows how to sell his moves to create space for himself. Hell act like hes about to take his man right, but will instead make a sharp ball-fake left and then blow right by his man when he has him on his heels. If he feels the urge, he has a nice in-between game he can go to at this point, being able to pull-up off the dribble and knock down the mid-range shot, or spin his way into the paint and finish creatively off the glass.
Once hes in the lane, hes strong enough to finish at the basket with contact as his 620+ career free throw attempts will attest. He likes to keep his man on his hip and ride him all the way to the basket, drawing the foul only when he decides the time is right. He is small, but extremely strong and stocky, which makes him tough to rattle and get off-balance. He maintains his focus very well and will get the unconventional 3-point opportunity a few times a game at the mid-major level. If the lane is too crowded for him to make his way all the way to the basket, Barea has some floaters/runners/tear-drops in his arsenal that he can go to to finish over bigger and more athletic opponents.
His shot-fakes are equally as effective, and he uses them to perfection to get himself into the lane. If he can find a way to become a more consistent outside shooter, his credibility in this area will only get much better. As it is, its not rare to see him get his man in the air a couple of times per game with just how herky-jerky and unpredictable he is.
Bareas outside shot is extremely streaky, but he can knock it down in a variety of ways. The type of defenses that are usually thrown at him has made him adapt his game accordingly, as Barea can square his shoulders in an instant and get his shot off even while on the move going left or right. His mechanics are not pretty, but he gets his shot off quickly, which is whats most important. Barea has range that extends well beyond the NBA 3-point line, but he abuses it, which hurts his percentages.
Barea already possesses all the wily veteran moves needed to make up for his size and create an advantage for himself. Little tricks like pushing off coming off a screen, tugging his mans shirt to slow him down or giving him a little business by sticking his elbows out when setting screens are certainly not beneath him. His play borders on dirty at times, but he does it well enough to usually not get caught by the refs.
Defensively, Barea is capable of playing very aggressive pressure defense, getting right in his mans grill and pestering him without mercy. His exhausting offensive role and the fact that he must stay out of foul trouble means that he isnt always able to show this, though. Considering his size, hes an excellent rebounder, averaging 4.4 per game, often snatching rebounds away from players a foot taller than him. This is largely due to his toughness, also not being afraid of stepping in to take a charge.
Despite playing for just a decent team in an average conference by national standards over the past four years, he has plenty of experience to fall back on from his play with the Puerto Rican national teams. He's held his own or even outplayed present or future NBA players like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and many others in international play.
In terms of intangibles, you won't find many players with stronger ones than his. He comes from an academic family and clearly has a great head on his shoulders, being a pleasure to be around both on and off the court according to every report we've received. He has a rare combination of brains, a huge heart and plenty of cojones, and just refuses to be denied success. His leadership skills are outstanding, and he appears to have the perfect mentality needed for a basketall player to succeed.