The Brooklyn Nets are firing on all cylinders. They are currently on a 6 game winning streak, with their record now sitting at 20-12. As they continue to win games against the league’s best teams, the majority of the attention is going to the team’s superstar trio. Undoubtedly, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden deserve all of the hype and attention they have been getting. With so much focus on the team’s three-headed monster, however, Joe Harris‘ stellar season has gone largely unnoticed.
Joe Harris entered the season coming off one of the best in his career. Last year, he set career highs in points and rebounds while finishing 6th in the league in 3 point percentage. As impressive as he was last year, Harris has taken his game to an even higher level this year. He isn’t just having the best season of HIS career, his shooting season is reaching historic levels. Nevertheless Harris is not getting the credit he deserves.
Is Joe Harris Really a “Star”?
To use the word “star” to describe Joe Harris would seem to be an exaggeration to the average fan. When thinking of a star, we tend to think of the game’s elite players. To be clear, my claim is not that Harris is at the level of LeBron, Kawhi, or KD, or some of the game’s biggest “stars”. That obviously is far from the truth. When comparing Harris’ numbers to some of the league’s other stars it is clear that he deserves more attention for his production. Let’s compare Harris to an all-time great shooter.
Player A: 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 48% FG/49% 3pt/6.0 3PA
Player B: 15 ppg, 3.5rpg, 52%FG/50%3pt/6.7 3PA
Player A? Kyle Korver during the 2014-15 season. Player B? Joe Harris this season. This was a career-best season for Korver, who is known as one of the best shooters of the last decade. Harris is scoring more this season with higher efficiency, despite taking a higher volume of shots. Kyle Korver was an All-Star that season, while Harris’ name hasn’t even been in the discussion for All-Star this year… Here’s another:
Player A- 17.4 ppg, 45%FG/40%3pt/ 6.2 3PA
Player B: 15 ppg, 52%FG/50%3pt/6.7 3PA
You know who Player B is. What about Player A? This time it’s Ray Allen‘s 2007-08 season with the Celtics. While this wasn’t Allen’s best season, it still resulted in an All Star appearance. Again, we see Harris is having a more efficient season than Allen had, this time scoring slightly less. This is not to say Harris is better than Allen, a top 2-3 shooter of all time, and a significantly better all around scorer. When comparing Harris to some of the NBA’s star shooters over the years, his performance leaves no doubt he deserves to be discussed in that category.
A Truly Historic Season
If the season were to end today, the Nets’ sharpshooter would set an NBA record. He would become the first person in league history to score 15+ ppg while shooting over 50 percent from the field and from the 3 point line. In fact, there have only been 8 players to ever reach the heights of a 50% 3pt percentage season. None of these players had more than 3.2 attempts per game or averaged over 10.5 points per game, both significantly lower than Joe’s averages for the season to date.
Perhaps the best mark of scoring efficiency is a player’s EFG (Effective Field Goal Percentage). This metric adjusts field goal percentage to account for the added worth of a 3 point shot compared to a 2 point shot. Joe Harris leads the league in this category right now at 68.8% . This would be the 7th highest mark of all time. Harris is the only non-center to crack the top 10.
When taking a deep dive into the stats, Joe Harris’ production this year has been absolutely phenomenal, and truly historic. If he continues to play at this level, he could end up with one of the best shooting seasons the game has ever seen. It is certainly time for him to start getting the recognition he deserves for it. Without question, the Brooklyn Nets have FOUR stars, rounded out by deadeye Joe Harris.