One of the early candidates for the MVP trophy, Navarro and his team F.C.Barcelona shrank in the quarterfinals in an awful last quarter against their archrivals Real Madrid. Until then, during the first three periods, Juan Carlos showed the spectacular level he enjoys since the last summer in the Eurobasket, being selected to the All-tournament team then, and finishing second in scoring only behind Nowitzki. Offensively, hes one of the top guards in Europe hands down. He already had a reputation of being a very talented offensive threat, but it hasnt been until this season that he reached consistency in his playing level. Despite the final loss, this game only certified it.
Everything started as expected, with Navarro driving defenses crazy. Whether with his three-point stroke (hes very quick releasing the ball as he barely jumps in the process, and can net it off the dribble) or slashing towards the basket using his excellent handles to finish with his trademarked elevated layups, while always working without the ball to receive in an advantageous position, he easily added points and facilitated his teams offensive game.
Better defended in the second half, he put more emphasis on distributing the ball, successfully feeding cutters, playing the pick and roll or leading transition plays with creativity and showcasing his very nice court vision. During Barcelonas drought in the last quarter, he was forced to reassume the scoring load, but found himself over-defended and not receiving much help from his teammates, which led to some mistakes and turnovers.
Drafted by the Washington Wizards in the second round of the 2002 draft, Navarro has reached his prime as a player. Hes such a talented guard that offensively he displays more than enough level to play in the NBA. A shooting guard in Europe, Navarro would be able to escape his undersized condition playing the point with ease in the American league, just as he used to do when he was younger and as he still shows nowadays in certain situations. His defense, average at best, is the biggest concern about him. Here he suffered whenever he was matched up with Louis Bullock
or Igor Rakocevic
. Anyway, he has a long and very lucrative contract in Barcelona, where hes the franchise player, the clubs emblem, so it would be really difficult to buy him out of there.