Joe Harris’ versatility for the Brooklyn Nets is one of the NBA’s best-kept secrets; his uncanny ability to knock down shots in the clutch is another.
Immediately when you look at the Brooklyn Nets’ roster, two players, in particular, stand out in regards to who you’d want with the basketball in the dying moments of a game: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Their gravitational pull on the offensive end is parallelled by few in the league and their unique skillsets are usually maximized in clutch moments, and that works in Joe Harris’ favor.
Because with the game hanging in the balance, both Irving and Durant have to be accounted for at all times in a half-court setting. So if the defense slips and leaves Harris hanging out in the corner, loses him off an inbound pass, or is unaware of him slipping backdoor to the rack—he’s more than capable of making the defense pay for their negligence.
In fact, Harris is shooting 56.5 percent from distance during what’s considered ‘clutch’ time (the score is within five points in the remaining five minutes of regulation or OT). Overall, he’s shooting 52.1 percent from the field in such instances, the best on the team amongst players with at least 15 attempts.
Harris won’t be the first role player to thrive in such moments, but he could be the next up to hit some “Horry-esque” type of shots in crucial moments.
I’ll go as far as saying that he could have a moment comparable to what Brian Scalabrine had in Game 5 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Pistons. That game he went for a career-high (at the time) 17 points in a triple OT thriller that featured multiple dosages of heroism.
But there’s obvious room for Harris to bypass the “White Mamba.” I’m aware of the blasphemy I concocted by even insinuating such a thing.
His shooting gravity will, in a perfect world, complement Durant and Irving’s offensive repertoires and vice-versa. But where the Nets’ dynamic offensive could really showcase their destructiveness is in end-game situations—especially with Harris’ adroit, crafty ability to get in the right position at the right time.
It wasn’t just this year, either. Reflecting on the 2018/19 NBA season, Harris was shooting 48.9 percent in clutch situations from the field and 47.6 percent from three. Such levels of consistency have become synonymous with his game; this is what he does.
And if he is to survive this upcoming offseason, which is clouded with uncertainty, he’s going to have his fair share of big moments in this title window.