NY Sports Day

Investment in Joe Harris Paying Off for Nets

Ashley Marshall/NYSD

The Nets are finally coming together with a consistent rotation, Joe Harris is playing a prominent role with his play.

Harris has been on a roll lately; the Nets are benefiting from his strong progression.

In Brooklyn’s win over the Miami Heat, a week ago, Harris scored a career-high 21 points. He recorded his first career double-double, 10 points with 12 rebounds, in Saturday night’s 87-85 loss to the Boston Celtics.

“He’s improved so much,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I just think in every facet of the game.”

If there’s a blueprint to the player development process Atkinson, and general manager Sean Marks, have brought to the Nets then Harris would have his picture on it.

Harris has always been a solid knock-down shooter, but since arriving in Brooklyn he’s shown he can do much more than spot up and shoot.

Since signing with the Nets, he has evolved from a potential journeyman-type player, with a smooth jump shot, to a key member of Atkinson’s rotation off the bench.

Through 37 games this season, Harris is averaging 10.0 points per game with 3.5 rebounds. But he’s picked it up lately. In his last five games, Harris is averaging 13.2 points per game, with 6.0 rebounds.

Harris can knock down the outside shot, a key component to Atkinson’s offense. It’s what else he’s doing on the court, rebounding and getting to the basket, which has earned him more minutes and increased his stock.

When Marks and Atkinson arrived in Brooklyn, they brought along with them opportunity that Harris has taken full advantage of.

At 6-foot-6, Harris has also improved his defensive skills. He’s not flashy, he just plays hard and has shown great court awareness. It’s earned him the trust of Atkinson in late-game situations with the score close.

“He’s just an elite competitor,” said Atkinson. “He’s gaining confidence, getting better by the day. We’re just so pleased with his progress. He’s been a big help.”

Harris, much like Spencer Dinwiddie, is making the most of his opportunity with the Nets. When it comes to low-risk and high reward, Brooklyn’s investment in Harris is coming up all aces.

 


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