Barea Hopeful For Return On Sunday


Kelsey Kroll
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate

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Timberwolves guard JJ Barea continued to work out during Saturday's practice at Target Center, doing lateral movements and sprints trying to work out his injured left hamstring that forced him to miss Friday's game against Miami.

But with the Dallas Mavericks coming to town Sunday, his former team with whom he helped win the NBA title last season, Barea is optimistic he'll be ready to play come game time.

"Feeling better than yesterday, it's looking good for tomorrow," Barea said. "I was trying to do everything I could to get out there yesterday, I hate sitting out. It's the worst."

After spending five years in Dallas, and appearing in 21 playoff games for the World Champion Mavs, Barea was signed by the Timberwolves as a free-agent in early December. He quickly made his presence known in the Wolves back court, playing both alone at point guard and also sharing the floor with fellow point guards Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour.

He injured his hamstring late in Tuesday's game against Milwaukee. And while Barea is anxious to get back on the court and has made the transition from his former team of five years smoothly, he was the first to admit Sunday's matchup will be a different experience.

"It's Dallas, I’ve got all my friends there," Barea said. "I spent five years there and we did a lot of stuff over there. It will be a little bit weird out there, guarding my teammates."

Perhaps one upside for the Wolves come Sunday will be Barea's insight to the Mavs style of play, which seems to have changed this season.

"They look different," he admitted. "They still run the same plays—a little different though. They've played a lot better their last two games; they're playing more and adjusting to their wing game."

Sunday will be the first test for Barea to see how he has adjusted to his new team. However, he said the return to Dallas for the first time as a member of the Timberwolves will be even more difficult.

"With Sunday, I have to have everything in my game to be able to go out there and do my job," he said. "I'll make sure I'm ready. I'll make sure to get my rest and practice more. I think I'll be ready to go. The way it feels today, I think it will be good by Sunday.

"I want to play and it's looking like I am going to play but I just want to make sure I'm fully ready to go."


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