JJ Barea to Start for the Mavs in Game 5

Rick Carlisle will keep Barea (who provided a spark on Tuesday night) in the starting lineup for tonight’s critical Game 5. From the Sun-Sentinel: “Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle alerted the players before the shootaround there would be a lineup change for Tuesday’s Game 4 against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. When guard J.J. Barea heard the news, he figured he would have some involvement in the move. Barea was right; he made his first start of the postseason, replacing DeShawn Stevenson in the starting lineup. ‘When he said he was doing a lineup change, I said, ‘Here we go, I think I’m going to start,’ Barea said. ‘I took it as he just wanted to change it up and give them something different and bring some more energy at the beginning. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Stevenson, too. He came off the bench, he did a great job last night.’ Barea is expected to remain a starter for Thursday’s Game 5 at American Airlines Center. The move was made in attempt the increase tempo. Although the Mavs failed to score 100 points, they were able to score more in transition. ‘I never had any thought that it could be genius,’ Carlisle said. ‘This is a move that we’ve made several times in my three years, starting Barea. And we’ve done it in a lot of instances where there have been big games. He has always stepped up and competed at an extremely high level. So I had no doubt that he would.’ Aside from speed, Carlisle also said the switch helped the Mavs’ halfcourt offense. After struggling against the Heat’s rotating defense, Dallas had success because of Barea’s ability to penetrate and find open shooters.”