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A 'Mexican Smurf,' he is Not

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While filling in for injured starter Josh Howard, the Dallas Mavericks' Jose Juan Barea surprisingly strung together four straight double-figure scoring efforts including a 22 point performance against the Atlanta Hawks on December 9th. The unexpected output of the 5-11 guard in his third year out of Northeastern University has not gone unnoticed by the NBA media, including Los Angeles Times NBA columnist Mark Heisler. Yesterday, Heisler recognized the play of Barea in his NBA Rankings, calling the Dallas guard a "Mexican smurf." While "smurf" isn't exactly the most becoming word to call a sub-six-footer it is actually the more accurate of the two words used by Heisler to describe Barea, who is a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.