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stuart
04-06-2007, 07:03 PM
Another late start on a thread that should have started some time ago. However I just found these couple articles on Barbosa.


Benevolent Barbosa giving plenty on court (AZcentral (http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/0405suns0405.html))
Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

SAN ANTONIO - Leandro Barbosa always wishes he could do better and give more of himself for others.

Three weeks ago, he made an appearance at an Avondale pool store, and 2,000 people showed up, with some coming five hours for his one-hour stay. Last week, he had another autograph signing at a Mesa furniture store. About 900 people came, and he signed and smiled for an hour again.

Each time, Barbosa left frustrated that some wide-eyed faces pressed against the glass were left with only a closer glimpse. The Suns guard is from a far distance - Brazil - but is not that far from being a fan - four years. So he aims to please fans, teammates and coaches and has yet to stop giving more of himself.

Tonight, Barbosa visits the home court of his chief NBA Sixth Man of the Year rival, San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, as a starter again because his game's growth and fit with the Suns style of play is as indispensable as ever.

Barbosa's path of improvement seems to be a never-ending journey, only because his potential and willingness to learn puts no limits on his growth. Just when he established himself as the Sixth Man Award's frontrunner, he turned into his team's top scorer. He has led the Suns in scoring in seven of the past 14 games, pulling ahead of Shawn Marion as the team's third-leading scorer.

"He gives us an element that people have a hard time guarding," said coach Mike D'Antoni, who will continue to start Barbosa to emphasize tempo. "He gives us the speed and a guy that can create a shot any time he wants."

At the season's outset, Steve Nash predicted that Barbosa soon would become a 20-point scorer. He scored 30 in the opener and keeps proving Nash right, scoring 20 or more 28 times this season after doing it 13 times in his first three years.

He has career-best averages in points (17.9), rebounds (2.7) and assists (4.2).

"I'm happy that my name is out there with a lot of players who've been good for a long time - (Jerry) Stackhouse, Manu," Barbosa said. "It's a pleasure for me to be there. I can never forget the help (Suns assistant) Dan D'Antoni gave to me. I'm already happy. That award would make me happy. But the most important thing to me is winning the championship. It's like a dream."

Barbosa ranks first among the Suns during the past 10 games in a category normally dominated by Nash - plus-minus rating, a point-differential statistic that reflects how a team performs with and without a player on the floor.

"I don't look at stats," said Barbosa, who still keeps a team photo in his locker. "The only thing I want to know is if I did a good job on defense. I'm trying to have fun, run the club and make everyone comfortable. These are my worries."

Barbosa said his confidence soared with the winning shot he made Jan. 2 at Chicago, shaking him out of a cold-shooting December. That shooting stroke has stayed true, no matter the situation.

"He and Steve have the two best shots I've ever seen," D'Antoni said.

Barbosa's defense and half-court playmaking continue to improve as he tries to get them up to the speed of his stride and anticipation. Defenders can't think - let alone move - quickly enough to react to his blow-by drives or leak-outs for breakaway buckets.

"He's more under control," D'Antoni said. "He can get his shot any time he wants. Now, he has to be able to choose a good shot."


Barbosa, Ginobili have sixth sense (Usa Today (http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/sports/20070405/sunsspurs05.art.htm))
By David DuPree, USA TODAY

When it comes to making things happen for their teams, the spotlight often turns on Leandro Barbosa of the Phoenix Suns and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.

Overshadowed most nights this season by higher-profile All-Stars Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion of the Suns and Tim Duncan and Tony Parker of the Spurs, Barbosa and Ginobili often set the tone with their all-out, frenetic play.

That could be particularly important tonight in one of the biggest games of the season for both teams (9:30 ET, TNT).

The rivals appear headed for a second-round showdown in the playoffs, with the big question being who will have the home-court advantage. The Suns go into the game with a three-game lead over the third-place Spurs in the race for the No. 2 seed in the West behind the Dallas Mavericks. The winner will also capture the season series 2-1.

"They're one of the best in the league," Duncan said of the Suns. "It's a great test time for us, especially coming down toward the end of the season here."

It's also a head-to-head showcase for Barbosa and Ginobili, the two leading candidates for the NBA's Sixth Man Award. Ginobili began the season as San Antonio's starting shooting guard, but when the Spurs bench faltered, coach Gregg Popovich did what he has often done turned to Ginobili to provide the spark. This time it happened in late January.

"It isn't the first time," Ginobili said. "I understand why it's this way. It's the best way to help the team win, so I'm in favor of it."

To win the Sixth Man Award, a player has to have come in off the bench in more games than he has started. Ginobili has started 36 games and been a reserve in 33. The Spurs have eight games left, so Ginobili will have to come off the bench in four of them without any more starts to be eligible.

Barbosa, although he has started the last two games and 17 overall this season, will end the season having come off the bench 55 times if he remains the starter.

"It doesn't matter to me," Barbosa said. "My role is still the same to make things happen."

Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls was the early leader for the Sixth Man Award, but he has started 44 games, making him ineligible.

The Suns lead the league in scoring and two of the three shooting categories, and the Spurs, third in opponents' field goal percentage and second in opponents' three-point percentage, are one of the league's premier defensive teams.

"We shoot the ball so well that it gets overlooked how well guys are shooting," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

For the Spurs, going into the playoffs with everything clicking has always been their objective. "We haven't really focused on getting the best record in any year," Popovich said. "The focus has always been making sure our priorities are in order, beginning with defense, that we're as healthy as we can possibly be, and that our bench has gotten enough minutes."

BBallfanJ
04-24-2007, 12:02 AM
Today it was announced that Leandro Barbosa has won the NBA sixth man award. Well deserved.

rikhardur
04-24-2007, 06:58 AM
Congrats to him, although I'd have picked Ginobili (he was eligible wasn't he?). Still, Barbosa deserved it as well.

stuart
04-25-2007, 05:47 PM
The guy is simply amazing, after being awarded the trophy, he seemed energized and put up something like 26 points on the lakers.

Stuart

L8DBACK
08-27-2007, 03:14 AM
The guy is simply amazing, after being awarded the trophy, he seemed energized and put up something like 26 points on the lakers.

Stuart

Taking about the Lakers, Bryant just shut Barbosa just to 4 point this evening to rout Brazil 113-76.