Barnes is terrible. Can people please stop talking about this guy? He was bad last year, had a decent playoff series against a very favorable matchup, and then was bad this year. He's not going to flip a switch and live up to his high school hype all of a sudden- he's just not very good.
You must mean "very favorable matchups" since Golden State played both Denver and San Antonio last year, and he played well in both. Everyone recognizes Barnes' "potential," which is what all of this is about. Barnes is still in the same stage of his career as the 2014 draft class is, but he's had a chance to show flashes in real NBA games.
His main problem in Golden State is he only gets 6-8 shots a game, because Curry, Thompson and Lee are going to chuck it up close to 60 times a game between the three of them. A guy with his offensive reputation would've been getting 12-16 shots in Charlotte had they drafted him. When he gets more shots he tends to produce.
Him being around MJ could be good or bad for him. If he doesn't mind the pressure that MJ would put on him (because Michael knows that Barnes studied his tape when he was growing up and tried to model his game after his because his mother was MJ's "biggest fan"), then it could work out, because his problem is that he is passive-aggressive. He tends to pout, and sulk, and then disappear if he determines that the situation around him is "stupid" or counter-productive, instead of having the mindset that he is just going to go out there and get his like it's a pickup game no matter what anyone else is doing. That's what he'd be hearing from MJ. If he didn't listen to Jordan, then there's no hope for him. I think Charlotte could be the best thing to happen to Barnes, because if he can't succeed in Charlotte, it should be clear to him and the rest of the league that he can't succeed anywhere. Right now, he's probably figured out that his stats are affected by being the 6th to 8th option on a team behind guys that have a green light to chuck it whenever they feel like it.
His second problem is not his "ball handling." It's the fact that he's not "strong with the basketball." He's weak and tentative, and isn't comfortable handling it. Jordan wasn't a great ball handler, but he was comfortable with it in his hands. That's what matters the most. MKG is not a great ball handler, but he's strong with the basketball, so you're still not going to take it from him. Any player can get to that point, including Barnes. You don't have to be Pete Maravich at SG or SF, just comfortable handling it. I'd rather have Barnes at SG and Hayward at SF, but if they had Barnes and MKG, that could work as well, then let Jordan and Pippen get in the gym with them and teach them a few things, and again, if they fail after that, then it'll be clearer than ever that they just weren't good enough.
Edited by ThinkAboutIt, 21 June 2014 - 06:26 AM.