Ever since Leandro Barbosa, also known as the Brazilian Blur, came of age in game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers first round playoff series against Phoenix a year ago, the Lakers and Barbosa know that his game and confidence level have risen tremendously.
Barbosa is the fastest Suns players and he is in fact one of the leading candidates to receive the NBA’s sixth man award.
This year again the Lakers and Suns will have re-match series and there is no doubt Barbosa will have a major role to play.
Barbosa said that he is capable of bringing speed to the team and that is what the Suns’ coach wants the team to do because the Lakers will try to slow the pace of the game to what they like and the Suns cannot allow that to happen. p
In 2003, when Barbosa joined the Suns, he was fast but it took sometime for his game to be as good as his speed. Ever since he has surely but steadily imroved his game to compliment his speed.
Barbosa came into the spotlight in 2006 when the Suns played the game 6 at Los Angeles and were trailing the best of seven series 3-2. Raja Bell was suspended for throwing Kobe Bryant to the court in the previous game and this allowed Barbosa to play his first playoff start.
Barbosa scored 22 points on 7 for 9 shooting and helped the Suns win the game in overtime. During the game, Barbosa took an elbow on the mouth from Bryant and he went to the locker room to receive four stitches on his lip. He then returned to the court to continue playing and seeing the Suns to a win.
Barbosa kept up the momentum in game 7 scoring 26 points and helped the Suns win the series 4-3.
A trade with San Antonio got the Phoenix Suns the 28th and final pick in the 2003 draft. The Suns selected Barbosa, who was then a 20 year old who hardly spoke a word of English. The adjustment was difficult for him but now Barbosa is happy because he can understand and speak to everyone.
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