Remember Vinnie "the Microwave" Johnson of the original Bad Boy Pistons? He got that nickname because he came in off the bench and "heated up" quickly, providing his team instant offense. It was a phenomenal supplement to their lock down defense.
It is early, but so far we've been seeing much the same from Leandro Barbosa.
"We thought he was going to go for a record in the first half. He’s a scorer," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We don’t have a backup point guard right now, so when we put him in we put him in as a scorer. I tell our team that when LB is in the game and Rondo is off the floor, we have two 2-guards in the game. And so everyone’s a scorer. And when we run the pick-and-roll with him, he’s running to score and not to be a passer. He understands that role."
Barbosa might be the biggest (positive) surprise for me so far. I knew he was a streaky but effective player in previous stops but I kind of assumed he had lost a step and thus lost his edge. What I forgot was that a step slow for The Blur is still faster than most people's best days. So when he turns a corner, he's gone.
Rondo points out that Eddie House was our bench spark in 2008 but in a very different way. He was a shooter and while Barbosa can shoot, it is his legs that make him lethal. Again, he isn't going to be lights out all the time, but when he finds a seam, he attacks it and keeps attacking until they find a way to stop him. Gotta love that from the last guy signed before the season.