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J.J. Barea will reportedly miss the remainder of the season

The veteran will sit the final three games with a strained oblique.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks will be without J.J. Barea for their final three games:

After leaving Wednesday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic with a left oblique strain, Barea will sit out the remainder of the season because the team has realized he is a valuable contributor who may unwittingly cause the Mavericks to win games they very much want to lose to avoid further damage.

In the midst of one of the Mavericks’ worst seasons, Barea was ironically having one of his best. He was contributing a career-high 11.6 points per game on a career-high 52.2 percent effective field goal percentage without a significant uptick in minutes played.

Despite some concern over his ability to share the floor well with Dennis Smith Jr., Barea was an undeniably positive contributor for the team this season. He was part of one of the team’s most effective lineups and had one of the highest offensive ratings among Mavericks players with significant minutes.

This may be somewhat welcome news to members of Team Tank and to those who worried Barea was at times slowing Smith Jr.’s development, but watching a Mavericks team without Barea AND Dirk Nowitzki will be pretty strange.