Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris is proving those who scrutinized his inclusion to Team USA’s roster wrong, his value has been of tremendous benefit to the program thus far.
Preaching Joe Harris’ value on the hardwood has all but become common practice for fans of the Brooklyn Nets. Those who watch them frequently comprehend that he’s much more than a player that hangs beyond the perimeter and shoots open-looks. He’s a versatile scorer, is capable of hustle plays that boost morale, and his playmaking has vastly improved as his career has progressed; and now, Team USA is benefitting from his entire arsenal.
It’s no real secret that Team USA struggled to get top-tier stars from the NBA this summer to participate in international play. Seemingly every time you opened up Twitter, a new player announced to his following that his focus was on the season ahead and not international play, representing his country.
This did a couple of things, one, it opened up opportunities for players—such as Joe Harris—who wouldn’t have gotten an invite or serious recognition to suit up for their country to get their shot at an—for many—once in a lifetime chance. It also made the team’s skill level and talent come under fire, with many suggesting it was the worst Team USA roster of all-time and mocked the players considered for the honor.
However, Joe Harris is making the absolute best of his opportunity to represent his country. We’ve known that Harris is absurdly efficient in the looks provided to him, he’s finished in the Top 7 in True Shooting Percentages in back to back seasons now—and that level of consistency has translated over to international play.
Through three games played now, Harris is one of only six players to be averaging points in double-digits figures, he’s first on the team in FG% (61.1 percent) and unsurprisingly, 3PT PCT% (66.7 percent), and he’s also third on the team in rebounds, via usab.com.
Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr went with him knowing he could space the floor and knock down the perimeter jump shot with efficiency, and he’s doing just that. But, he’s also attacking the glass and finding other means to his offense—which essentially describes his overall game, he’s much more than just a three-point threat.
Here’s a perfect example: a Japan defender bites to hard on Harris’ up-fake from beyond the perimeter and he puts the ball on the deck and ends up finishing with a crafty up-and-under move—plays like this have become the norm for Nets fans.
We’re all rooting for you, Joey Buckets, keep making Nets faithful proud!