Tuesday , May , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Orlando needs Matt Barnes … and now

Magic forward Matt Barnes is upset over his reduced minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics.

However, Barnes still wants to remain with the team.

He can opt out of the two-year contract he signed last summer, but said Monday night: "I want to come back."

Barnes played just 16 minutes in Game 3 on Friday night, but tallied 30 in Monday night’s overtime win in Game 4.

"I want to be out there to help my team. The money thing is whatever," he said. "More than anything, I just hate to watch from the bench, especially when we’re not playing hard and that’s what I bring to the court. "I’ve just been cheering. I hate it, hate it. It’s tough to watch."

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And if the Orlando Magic, down 3-1 to the Boston Celtics, wants to make a series of the Eastern Conference Finals, they need to continue playing Matt Barnes.
 
After all, the energetic swing can defend, rebound, and nail three-pointers. Barnes had a workmanlike 10 points and 7 rebounds in game four.
 
Most importantly, when playing well, he gets under the skin of opponents. For instance, Barnes didn’t back away from a confrontation with ultra intense Celtics post Kevin Garnett. And during the regular season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom.
 
Bottom line: Barnes’ edge is good for the Orlando Magic, a team of mostly nice guys. Instead of worrying about next year’s contract, they need him now.
 
How important is Barnes to the Magic’s success? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.  
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