How much does J.J. Barea concern the Heat? They're actually putting him in the same sentences as the league’s Most Valuable Player. With a straight face.

“If you don’t treat him with the same type of respect as we did with Derrick Rose he can really come in and have an impact on the game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m sure there will be some possessions where LeBron will be on him."

OK, so James will also be guarding Nowitzki, likely in the fourth quarters. And Barea plays only about 18 minutes a game.

While there is so much attention being paid to who can put a dent in the Nowitzki Express, there’s a reason why Barea is getting a prominent position in Miami’s scouting report. It isn’t just what he does, but what happens to the Mavericks’ offense when he’s in the game. One of coach Rick Carlisle’s most effective weapons during the playoffs has been his shooting/spread offense with Barea playing the equivalent role of Chris Paul.