Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris just keeps hittin’ buckets

Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Joe Harris. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets didn’t shoot a lot Monday, but he hit them often, making 5-of-6 from 3-point range in a big win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Joe Harris isn’t the first option offensively for the Brooklyn Nets. But when the Nets turn to Harris, he just keeps delivering big shot after big shot.

On Monday against the San Antonio Spurs, Harris took just seven shots — fewer than four of his teammates — but canned five of them, including going 5-of-6 from 3-point range while scoring 15 points in Brooklyn’s 101-85 victory.

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Three of those 3s came in the first half, when the Nets were having trouble finding the range.

Brooklyn finished the night 19-for-50 from deep, hitting 38 percent, but missed 17 of their first 23 deep tries.

That poor shooting allowed the Spurs to stay in the game. Harris’ third deep ball of the first half helped the Nets push the lead back to six points at 40-34 after San Antonio had crawled back from an 11-point deficit to get to within three.

Harris excels as a role player in the Brooklyn system because of two factors: He’s a picture of constant movement, always looking for open spaces and cutting hard off screens and curls to get those open looks.

And when he get a pass, Harris is always loaded and ready to fire, wasting no time on catch-and-shoot attempts, which he is converting at a 47.6 percent rate on 4.1 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts per game, second-best in the NBA among players with at least three such attempts a game.

Couple that with Brooklyn’s ball movement tendencies and you get plays that finish like this one.

There’s not a defense in the NBA that can stop that look, because the ball movement has the defenders so scrambled, there is no one left to account for the open Harris above the break.

With his 5-for-6 performance from 3-point range, Harris — who won the Three-Point Contest at the recent All-Star Weekend in Charlotte — took over the NBA lead in 3-point shooting at 47.8 percent on the year, passing Davis Bertans of the Spurs, who fell to third after going 0-for-2 on Monday.

Harris likes his home arena, as he is hitting 50 percent from 3-point range in 29 games at Barclays Center this season. Overall, that 47.8 percent clip comes on 5.1 attempts per game.

The fifth-year pro remains on pace to shatter the franchise’s single-season record for 3-point shooting, currently held by Hall of Famer Drazen Petrovic, who shot 44.9 percent on 2.4 attempts a game in 1992-93.

Harris has climbed to second on the team’s all-time 3-point shooting list at 43.0 percent, passing Eddie House‘s 42.9 percent mark with Monday’s performance.

The Nets have never had a player lead the NBA in 3-point percentage, although Brian Taylor did lead the ABA with a 42.1 percent mark in the league’s final season in 1975-76.

If Harris keeps putting ’em up and knocking ’em down the way he has this season — and particularly as he has over the last seven games, where Harris has made a ridiculous 64.1 percent on 5.6 attempts a game — he’s going to put himself in position to break that 40-year run without a 3-point shooting champ.

Next. 10 best seasons in franchise history. dark

After all, he already became the first player in franchise history to win the Three-Point Contest. So why not go for both crowns?