Barbosa making impact on offense in limited minutes


ORLANDOIf you're surprised at how well Leandro Barbosa has acclimated himself to the Boston Celtics, well join the club.

Even he has been caught off guard at how well he has fit in with the C's so quickly.

Once again, it was Barbosa's instant offense that played a role in a Boston victory as the C's defeated Orlando 116-110 in overtime.

Barbosa led a Celtics' second unit with 15 points in less than 11 minutes of playing time. That in itself is impressive.

Consider this: Of the 15 points Barbosa scored, 11 came within his first three minutes or so of court time.

"That's my game," Barbosa said. "I like to be aggressive every time I am on the court. Coach (Rivers) has been giving me a lot of confidence so every time I am there, I try to of course set up plays for my teammates, but if I see opportunities for me to score, I will score."

Even Rivers finds himself looking on in astonishment at how quickly Barbosa can get going despite coming off the bench.

"We thought he was going to go for a (scoring) record in the first half," Rivers said. "He's a scorer. We don't have a backup point right now, so when we put him in, we're putting him in as a scorer."

And that's a role that the Celtics have to have him play when Rondo's off the floor for extended stretches of time, as was the case on Sunday when Rondo was in foul trouble.

"That's why we brought him in," said Rondo, who still managed to score 15 points to go with 16 assists and nine rebounds. "We know he can score the ball."

Even though Barbosa found himself racking up a hefty number of fouls, it still didn't take away from how he controlled the game for stretches of play.

"To have a point guard as a backup and have that type of effect on the game is big for me and our team," Rondo said.

And while much has been made of what Barbosa has brought to the C's offensively, he has had moments in which his defense has impressed the Celtics as well.

But on Sunday, it was all about buckets for Barbosa.

"Basketball is not all about scoring," Barbosa said. "If I am having one of those nights where I'm not dong well on offense, I am going to try to do my best I can on the defensive end. Tonight my offense was good and I took advantage of it."

And the opportunity to produce so often has been a bit unexpected for Barbosa who credits the C's coaches and his teammates for allowing him to impact games by simply doing what he seems to do best - score.

"They have been giving me a lot of confidence when I am on the court," Barbosa said. "That helps me a lot and I feel comfortable."

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