Former Northeastern University men’s basketball star Jose Juan Barea scored 2 points and dished out 3 assists as his Dallas Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat, 92–84, in Game 1 of the N.B.A. Finals last night.
Along with the rest of the Mavericks’ second unit, Barea had a subpar game, making just one of eight shots from the floor. But the 6-foot, 175-pound guard has provided a huge lift to his team off the bench with his offense and energy, and before Tuesday night, had averaged 9 points and 3.5 assists during the Mavericks’ dominant postseason run.
His most productive — and painful — game occurred in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. In that game, he scored 22 points, chipped in eight assists and was intentionally elbowed in the ribs by Lakers center Andrew Bynum.
After the game, Barea, who was not badly injured, called Bynum’s unsportsmanlike conduct a “dangerous” play.
Barea, who played for the Huskies from 2002–2006, is second on Northeastern’s all-time scoring and assist lists, with 2,290 points and 721 assists. His 255 three-point field goals is tops in club history. On March 5, 2005, in a game against Stony Brook University, he set a Husky record by scoring 41 points.
In 2005 and 2006, Barea was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation’s best point guard.
Athletics director Peter Roby praised Barea for his commitment to success, both on and off the court.
“Playing on the largest stage of professional basketball is a wonderful accomplishment for J.J. and a tribute to his talent and attitude,” Roby said. “He is a source of pride for everyone associated with the University and sends a message that you can aspire to the highest level athletically and academically and achieve those goals at Northeastern.”