Matt Barnes gave the Los Angeles Clippers a lot of reasons last season why they should keep him and not let him go to another team. Hopefully, the Clippers realized how important the 10-year veteran is to the franchise.
Barnes showed that in the final loss of the NBA playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, the Clippers lost, but Barnes almost made it possible for them to win simply by himself. He played 37 dazzling minutes and was 11-of-14 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the 3-point arc for 30 points, along with 10 defensive rebounds and one steal. He only had one turnover.
It was a spectacular performance at the right time.
But Barnes also had a decent playoff with 11.8 points per game, while averaging 27 minutes in the six games the Clippers played. He shot 54.5 percent from the floor, 41.2 percent in 3-pointers and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line. For the 6-foot-7 forward, those are good numbers.
The Clippers need Barnes to return and also need him to have a strong postseason. The team needs to get as high of a seed as possible to be a stronger NBA playoff squad. In 80 games, Barnes had four starts during the regular season but averaged 25 minutes, 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. In his career, he has an average of 21.9 minutes, 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. His numbers were up last season from his career. He also shot 46.2 percent from the floor, 34.2 in threes an 74.4 in free throws last season.
Those numbers are strong and Barnes can help the Clippers again. They need to keep him.