Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Picimg_dallas_mavericks_vs_4454
MINNEAPOLIS--It was nothing more than a faint smirk, an acknowledgment that this was bound to happen. The crowd groaned and the PA announcer muttered, "Nowitzki" after the Mavericks forward sunk a three-pointer in the third quarter, narrowing the Timberwolves lead to seven. But J.J. Barea, perched on a stationary bike, merely pursed his lips and kept pedaling.After all, if anyone knows what to expect from the Dallas Mavericks, it's Barea.Dirk Nowitzki had finally showed up to play, and no one was less surprised than Barea, a key player in the Mavericks' championship run last season who signed with the Timberwolves in December. Sunday night's 99-82 Timberwolves victory was the first time he'd faced his former team on the court."It was strange," Barea said of the experience. "Strange but not hard. It was fun."And though it's unlikely that the struggling Mavericks, who fell to 1-4 on the season, saw the fun in game, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle felt similarly odd about playing against hi...
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