Nick Andre | April 9th, 2020
Although we know what to expect out of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the third man for the Denver Nuggets is supposed to be Gary Harris. He’s a player with a lot of talent and can be a difference-maker when he is at his best. But this season has been a struggle for the shooting guard and he never got into a rhythm all season long.
Through his first five seasons in the NBA, Harris has shown the world that he can be a valuable player on the offensive end. He is a career 36% three-point shooter and can get hot in a hurry. His last two seasons were remarkable as he was known as a key contributor to Denver’s success.
Harris is averaging 10.4 points while shooting 42% from the field. His point average is the lowest it’s been since 2014-15, and his shooting has just been inefficient for the most part. It’s been a good thing that Denver has gotten production out of Will Barton, Jerami Grant, and others. But the team understands that they can take things up a level if Harris would turn things around.
Many of Harris’ games have been atrocious this season for Denver. Whether it was against Washington on January 4th where he shot 3-12 or against Detroit on February 2nd where he shot 1-6 in 31 minutes of action, the guard’s struggles became consistent on a night-to-night basis and there was no sign of life coming from him at all.
Although Harris has been struggling for most of the season, it hasn’t seemed to shake up his confidence whatsoever. He still looks to be aggressive anytime he gets the opportunity and wants to make the most out of every possession.
The only concern that is on the floor for Harris is that he isn’t taking high percentage shots that are good for him and his team. It’s best for Harris to play his game where he can get quality looks. When he’s knocking down shots, it is a scary sight for most opponents because he’s one of those guys who can have an explosive night on the offensive end.
Despite the struggles, Harris looked as if he was slowly starting to come around before the NBA season was suspended. It was still a struggle for the most part, but his field goal percentage was slowly starting to rise the more he played. All shooters go through a bad slump for stretches of time, but eventually, they overcome their slump and start knocking down shots again. That’s what it looked like for Harris for about 2-3 weeks prior to the season being shut down.
It is questionable whether the NBA playoffs will be played or not. But if there is, Gary Harris will need to continue to pick up his game if Denver plans on going deep in the postseason. Harris’ scoring gives this Denver team a boost and they would be capable of beating teams single-handedly with him performing at a high level. No, he is not the first option to go to. But if there is a player that Mike Malone wants to call upon to carry the offense in certain stretches of the game, he should want to call upon Harris to do so.
It’s been a struggle for Gary Harris that no one expected coming into the season. But shooters continue to shoot at the end of the day and he is one of those guys that everyone wants to watch flow on offense. His teammates and coaching staff continue to have confidence in him and that’s how he continues to play hard every night. Denver is in a tough Western Conference where they will need to bring out all of the tools in order to take it. One of those tools involves Harris’ offense and hopefully he can find his shot going forward.
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