Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris’ ever-improving offense

Joe Harris Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
Joe Harris Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris is widely recognized in the NBA as an elite three-point marksman; though true, it doesn’t fully encompass his offensive arsenal.

Since signing with the Brooklyn Nets back in July of 2016, Joe Harris has improved his offensive production with every passing season. Last year for the Nets he started every game he played in, and with the increase in minutes and offensive looks—Harris elevated his game, netting career highs in nearly every stat category.

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We know how effective Harris is as a spot-up shooter, that isn’t exactly a secret. He’s adept at moving without the basketball, via curling off of off-ball screens, or even cutting to the rim, he always has to be accounted for on the offensive side of the basketball court.

Last year he shot 48.1 percent on catch and shoot threes, which was the highest percentage in players with more than 4.0 attempts in that regard. Due to that efficient clip, he can often catch defenders trying to jump him off the line or playing him a little too tightly—which opens other avenues to his offense.

Here he catches Kawhi Leonard, widely regarded as one of the better defenders in the NBA, napping, and cuts in for the tomahawk slam; much to the delight of the Nets’ bench mob.

Here’s another example where he realizes that LeBron James turned his back on him to watch the ball and he takes advantage by cutting up the gut; finishing with the crafty reverse layup.

Likewise, Harris isn’t afraid to put the ball on the deck, get to the low block and overpower his defender using his 6’6, 218-pound frame either. He’s surprisingly physical, last season he attempted 225 field goals at the rim and another 104 from 3-<10ft. Compare that to Kyle Korver‘s all-star season back in 2014-15, where he took 32 shots at the rim and another 14 from 3-<10ft, you begin to understand he’s much more than just a marksman from distance.

Harris drove the ball an average of 7.0 times per game last season, that’s more than Jayson Tatum, Aaron Gordon, and Kyle Kuzma, amongst others, to help put that into perspective. He’s instinctive, has a high basketball I.Q, he knows when his defender is pinching a little too hard and he has a lane to the hoop.

He’s incredibly efficient, in 2018/19 he finished 5th in the NBA in true shooting percentage (63.6 percent), according to The year before that, he finished 7th—he has a career true shooting percentage of over 60 percent; showcasing tremendous consistency in that regard.

What’s been a bit of a revelation in his offensive dynamic, however, has definitely been his passing ability; which has steadily improved as he’s progressed further into his career. Last year, Harris finished with a career-high in assists (2.4) and had 16 games of at least 4 assists.

He’s building a rapport with Jarrett Allen, who’s often the beneficiary from a Harris pass rolling off of a pick and roll, or due to multiple defenders coming towards Harris who then has the presence of mind to acknowledge that Allen has an open lane towards the hoop. Harris found Allen an average of 6.4 times per game last year, and he shot 50.5 percent from the field on the 1.3 FGA he had per game on those passes.

Dinwiddie shot 49.7 percent on the same number of field goal attempts as Allen per game in the 4.6 passes he received from Harris last year. He can distribute the rock and find his teammate despite not exactly overwhelming assist numbers.

He’s not exactly a great rebounder, but that really isn’t required of him on this team. It’s noteworthy that his rebounding numbers have improved with every passing season; however, they’re still not exactly flattering.

Next. Kyrie will have help in the locker room. dark

It’s understandable why many who may just watch the Nets semi-casually think that Harris is solely a three-point marksman. The show he put on during All-Star Weekend probably cemented that perspective of Harris, but it just isn’t true. Harris’ offensive makeup has improved with every passing season and with the national platform this team will have with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant—he’ll prove it to the masses.