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Barbosa gets it now, and he let Lakers have it
Paola Boivin, The Arizona Republic

Don't get into foul trouble and just play your game. You've got it now.

Good luck,
Dan D'Antoni

Leandro Barbosa read the note and took it to heart. It hasn't always been that way, because for all the gifts the Suns guard is blessed with, confidence isn't one of them.

Until now.

Did you see that flicker of movement in the Suns' 121-90 Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers? That was Barbosa, parting the purple sea.
Did you see that look of befuddlement on Phil Jackson's face? That was because of Barbosa, who was "probably the fastest guy on Earth" Saturday, according to Suns coach Mike D'Antoni.

Twenty-six points. Ten of 12 from the field. I think he had a swagger, but it was hard to tell because he was moving so fast.

"It was almost like he had an extra gear," Suns assistant Alvin Gentry said.
"He was going so fast, I don't think he could catch his breath," Mike D'Antoni said.

Goodbye, LA. Hello, LA.

See ya, Lakers. Look out, Clippers.

Barbosa represents everything right about this team. His growth in this series is a product of hard work and of an organization that cultivates talent. There was almost a giddiness in the locker room about his success after the game because he is so well-like among this group.

"He could be one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet," James Jones said.
Barbosa is funny. He loves everything, loves everybody. Loves Nash. Loves the Suns. Loves his coaches. Loves the way he puts on his right sock in the morning.

"I love this team," he said.

See?

The only thing that has slowed him is confidence. When a player is blessed with his speed, mistakes happen. When the third-year player would make those mistakes, he would beat himself up over them.

The addition of Dan D'Antoni, Mike's brother, has inspired Barbosa. The two work together every day with Dan continually feeding his ego. That's not something you often have to do with an NBA player.

Before every game, the assistant coach hands Barbosa a note with a list of instructions. It's usually 15 to 20 items long. Saturday, the list said only one thing. He took it to heart and because of it, the Lakers can start booking their off-season vacations.

For a guy that doesn't start, Barbosa sure makes a significant impact on this team. The Suns are 4-0 in the series when he scores in double figures.

His brief career has been a tricky trial for Barbosa. He's tried to learn from point guard Steve Nash without trying to become him.
He's finally figured it out.

"Tonight Boris (Diaw) and Leandro were our two best players," Nash said. "The two guys that people were disappointed in the beginning of the series. I think they are accustomed to the series now and they lost their virginity so to speak in the seventh game.

"Two great guys, two great teammates and both of them are interesting because they have the chance to be phenomenal players."

Barbosa's the consummate team player, a true reflection of this Suns team. For all the warm and fuzzy things written about the Lakers lately, it's hard not to remember the past.

Remember that Jackson in his book called Kobe Bryant "narcissistic"? Remember when Bryant told the Los Angeles Times that he didn't like Jackson as a person?

That's not the Suns. And certainly not Barbosa.