MEMPHIS – The Dallas Mavericks will be without one of their key pieces Monday when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at 7 p.m. CT at FedEx Forum.
Guard J. J. Barea said he is not playing against the Grizzlies due to a strain left groin. Barea, however, said he’s hopeful of playing in Wednesday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets.
“I strained my groin a little bit, but I’m moving right,” Barea said after Monday morning’s shootaround. “It’s just really sore.”
Coach Rick Carlisle said guard Wesley Matthews (strained left hamstring) will be a game-time decision, while center Dwight Powell (left knee effusion) is listed as questionable.
Barea’s injury occurred when the Mavs upended the two-time defensive NBA champion Golden State Warriors, 112-109, this past Saturday in Dallas.
“One of the drives in the fourth quarter when I jumped for the layup I pulled a little something,” Barea said. “It’s pretty sore right now, but it’s better than yesterday.
“We just decided to give it a couple more days and let’s go on Wednesday. But nothing serious – I feel good – so get ready to go on Wednesday.”
While Barea was explaining his injury to the media, forward Dirk Nowitzki, who was sitting nearby, chimed in and said to Barea: “You strained your hamstring first, and now your groin? What’s going on? Do we need to lift more or do we need to be in better condition?”
Barea laughed and said: “Don’t listen to him. But it’s not bad.”
As one of the key reserves off the bench for the Mavs, Barea is averaging 9.8 points in 18.8 minutes and leads the team with 5.6 assists per game. Rookie Jalen Brunson will likely receive more minutes against the Grizzlies in Barea’s absence.
“I think it’s going to be tough not having J. J.,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “He does a great job with our great unit.
“But that’ll be more minutes for J. B. to hopefully step up and be able to fill that gap for us.”
Had this been a playoff game against the Grizzlies, Barea noted that he likely would have played.
“I’m just being careful,” Barea said, “and making sure I’m ready to go on Wednesday.”
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