The back spasms that began bothering Matt Barnes after his Orlando Magic's Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks did not let up. He had to miss practice the day before Game 1 against the Boston Celtics to receive treatment, and though he tried to play through the pain yesterday, it's clear that the soreness is taking its toll. He didn't move well on either end of the floor, which is one reason why the Celtics' veteran wing duo of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen went off for 47 points in Boston's win. Howard the Dunk has more on Barnes:
"I didn’t get a chance to to get it real lose tonight," Barnes told reporters following the game.
Barnes was lifted in favor of Mickael Pietrus and eventually J.J. Redick.
"But it’s no excuse. I didn’t get it done tonight. Coach had to go with someone who was ready. I am going to continue to get treatment and I’ll be ready for Game 2."
Barnes is on the floor for his defense, rebounding, and, to a much lesser extent, his spot-up shooting. He didn't provide much of anything yesterday, which made him a liability at times. Eddy's gone so far as to suggest benching Barnes and and starting Redick, shifting Vince Carter to small forward.
Make no mistake, though, such a move would be just as much about what Redick can do as it would be about what Barnes can't. Redick played quite well yesterday, and works well with the other four starters; Orlando outscored the Celtics by 8 with that group on the floor yesterday.
So, what do you think? Is it already time for coach Stan Van Gundy to yank Barnes from the starting lineup?