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Leandro Barbosa Won't Fill Point Guard Void for Boston Celtics

MIAMI, FL - MAY 13:  Forward Mike Miller #13 and Center Joal Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat defends against Guard Leandro Barbosa #28 of the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 13, 2012 at the American Airines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Pacers 95-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2016

The moment we've all been waiting for since every other NBA free agent worth mentioning was signed has finally arrived—Leandro Barbosa has latched himself onto a team. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the unrestricted free agent guard reached a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics.

Free agent guard Leandro Barbosa has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 17, 2012

Barbosa, who split time with both the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers last season, provides the Celtics with a versatile scorer, deadly shooter and solid perimeter defender.

Oh, and he also ensures they won't be adequately filling their void at point guard, at least not right now.

Though Barbosa only stands at 6'3", he is much more comfortable at the shooting guard position. His ball-handling skills are sound, but his court vision, awareness, offensive anticipation and play-making abilities make him exactly what he is—a spot-up threat and not much else.

Is that slightly harsh? Perhaps, but Barbosa is essentially the second-coming of Jason Terry, sans the ability to create for his teammates.

And that's a problem.

Boston completely revamped its roster over the offseason, bringing in athletes that would ensure the team didn't finish 26th in the league in points scored per game once again.

And yet, at the same time, the Celtics' thinking is slightly—and has the potential to be detrimentally—flawed. Because there is such a reality as having too much too much firepower and not enough matches to start one.

Yes, Boston has a top-five point guard in Rajon Rondo, but forcing him to play more than 35 minutes per game is dangerous. With the amount of time he spends running the floor, attacking the basket and weaving in and out of the paint, he's bound to not only be plagued by fatigue, but inevitable injuries as well.

Which is why the Celtics needed someone who could provide a distributional spark. Terry is a proven facilitator, but at 35, his play-making abilities have diminished. He can be used as a spot-up shooter, a self-serving scorer, but cannot be relied upon for much more.

There's Avery Bradley to consider as well, but he's nowhere near fit for duty at the moment and his facilitating prowess is raw at best.

So, who do the Celtics depend on when Rondo is on the bench then? Courtney Lee? Now that's funny.

But this situation isn't. Barbosa is a supposed combo guard, yet where's the evidence that he can lead an offense? Over the course of his nine-year career, he has never averaged more than four assists per game, and that came in Mike D'Antoni's high-octane, move-the-ball-like-it's-on-fire offense.

And just to give you an idea of how limited Barbosa's offensive instincts really are, he averaged just 1.5 assists in over 20 minutes per game last season. That's the same number of dimes both Kevin Garnett and Lee dropped, and nearly two less than the ball-stopper we all know as Paul Pierce dished out.

Yes, Barbosa gives the Celtics yet another offensive weapon, but that doesn't mean a whole lot when their second-unit is still without someone to perpetuate that offense.

Barbosa himself prefers spot-up looks to creating off the dribble; does Boston actually believe that those opportunities will materialize out of thin air for him and the rest of its second-string squad?

Apparently, they must, because Barbosa can do many things on the offensive end, but just like everyone else on the Celtics not-named Rondo or Terry, running point isn't one of them.

 

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