Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes A Step In Right Direction
Harrison Barnes is the player the Dallas Mavericks needed. The fans just didn’t know it at the time.
Dallas Mavericks fans were upset after the team ended up paying max-money to a fifth option, understandably so The Mavericks have a reputation of striking out on Plan-A players in free agency and after a while you either get mad or are numb to the disappointing outcomes.
At least you knew Harrison Barnes wasn’t going anywhere after he agreed to sign with the Mavericks; DeAndre Jordan’s shameful incident inspired a joke from the Mavericks front office putting handcuffs on Barnes after they officially signed him.
Rick Carlisle placed Harrison Barnes in a very focal role of the Mavericks in the beginning of the 2016–17 campaign.
Opening night for the Mavericks was a tough contest against the Indiana Pacers. One sequence gave us a glance of the player the Mavericks would go to consistently for the clutch buckets.
On a play where Dirk Nowitzki was open enough to nail a three-point shot, he passed it to an even more open Barnes. Barnes’ shot would be the one to send it to overtime, where the Mavericks would eventually lose, which is another thing they would do a lot this season
The important thing is Nowitzki had faith in Barnes on their first game playing together. Nowitzki had every right to shoot the ball, but he realized what his assist symbolized. It symbolized trust in Harrison Barnes.
I don’t think the plan of this season was to give Barnes so much responsibility so early in the season. However, Barnes didn’t back down from the opportunity.
“This is what every player wants and dreams of, being in that position where you get that responsibility and you have a chance to grow every single night.”
Barnes had no choice, but to accept the go-to guy with Nowitzki suffering from his achilles scare. Nowitzki has missed 25 games this season due to the aforementioned injury and also rest. Barnes has always been a talented player. going back to his highly recruited days in high school.
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The worry about his game was more on the decision-making side of basketball. He wasn’t a playmaker on the Warriors. It was his skill that helped him with his role.
Barnes is averaging a career-high 20 points per game in his first season as “the guy.” His play-making abilities still need work, with him only reaching the five-assist mark twice this season. That really isn’t such a horrible thing to say when you point out his role on the team is to score.
Per NBA.com, 55.6 percent of his plays come when the shot clock is in the 15- to seven-second range.
That is a pretty big chunk of the shot clock if you think about it. He is given the time to either get to the basket or go to one of his seem-to-be patent midrange shots. He has also picked up a fadeaway this season.
I wonder if Nowitzki get royalties every time Barnes uses it. He even has his share of clutch moments this season:
Harrison Barnes isn’t a first option on a contender. Either way he is still a good piece to build around in the meantime. He is the youthful talent the Mavericks have been missing for years.
With Barnes scoring the way he is and a possible lottery pick this offseason, the Mavericks could get a highly coveted free agent in the near future.
The franchise has a healthy foundation which includes one of the greatest coaches in Rick Carlisle, and also a future Hall of Fame player in Dirk Nowitzki to help with his growth. Mavericks fans have a reason to look forward to the future.