BOSTON - Days after signing with the team, Leandro Barbosa has quickly picked up on the Boston Celtics way of basketball.
"I will bring energy, a lot of energy," he said on Sunday prior to the Celtics' preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. "I like to run, I like to bring a lot of offense, I like to score too. But we have a lot of scorers on the team, so we'll see. Whatever situation I'm in I'll try to do."
And what about wait for it
"Defense," he stated. "Defense is the first standpoint on the team."
The 29-year-old combo guard, who played with the Pacers and Raptors last season, had conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers before joining their rival, the Celtics. He comes to a team deep with backcourt production, meaning there is no guarantee on his minutes. That's OK with Barbosa, who is looking forward to a chance to win.
"It's a kind of situation I've been looking for, especially to play with Rajon Rondo. He likes to run and I love to run. I think it will be working really well," he said, adding, "They're all good players. I'm here just to help. As soon as I get my chance to get on the court, I'm just going to try to do my best to succeed and help the team."
Barbosa signed with the Celtics less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. Coach Doc Rivers said he was surprised Barbosa was still available. Had he had joined an NBA team, the only country Barbosa would have considered playing in was his native Brazil.
"I played there when I was in the lockout so it was great, but it's nothing compared to the NBA," he said. "I'm glad to be back."
Barbosa did not play on Sunday against the 76ers because of his visa. He expects to be able to play by Opening Night on Oct. 30 in Miami.