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Is J.J. Barea's Impressive Play Related To Dirk Nowitzki's Pick-And-Pop Effectiveness?

J.J. Barea only played 17 minutes for the Dallas Mavericks in their Game 2 match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, but his poise in the lane was pretty impressive as the 6-foot point guard scored eight points in the fourth quarter.  

If Barea's able to have a continued impact, he could end up being quite important for the Mavs for the remainder of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, but NBA Playbook's Sebastian Pruiti notes that Dirk Nowitzki screens might be the key to Barea's success.

The way that the Mavericks got Barea into the paint was by giving him a screen and running pick and pops at the top of the key. Maybe the most important aspect of the pick and pop was the screener, Dirk Nowitzki. The Lakers were so worried about leaving Nowitzki open, it messed with their pick and roll defense.

Nowitzki was still pretty effective in Game 2 even as the Lakers keyed in on him as the German forward scored 24 points on 16 field goal attempts, but whatever changes Los Angeles decides to make will probably open some more opportunities for one of these players to get even better looks at the basket.

For more analysis on the Mavericks, be sure to check Mavs Moneyball. For more analysis on Barea and Nowitzki's pick-and-pop prowesss, be sure to read the rest of the NBA Playbook article.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.