Nets’ Joe Harris takes baby steps to break shooting slump

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) dribbles the ball asToronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. (33) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

You could call Joe Harris’ effort against the Orlando Magic a step in the right direction during Monday’s win for the Nets. Harris had put up a season-high 17 points on a 5-for-11 shooting night. 

It wasn’t his best performance, but after the struggles he’s had of late it’s one the Nets are encouraged to see. Harris still shot just 2-of-8 from three-point range, but it was better than the 1-for-6 he shot in the previous game or the 13.6% he was shooting beyond the arc in the prior four games. 

“Just overall great to go game the game with him. He finishes the game with that group out there,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I think immediately shows the confidence and that we have in him, the trust that we have in him even when he’s not making shots. He’s going to be in the right place to do the right thing, be in the right coverage a majority of the time and that’s important in team sports.

“The shots are going to come around. I think we all believe that it’s going to come around.”

Harris had seen his minutes start to dwindle in recent games coming off the bench. He played a season-low 12:02 against Portland last week and has averaged 14.1 minutes per game in the three games before Monday’s win over Orlando. 

Vaughn turned to Harris a bit more during their last game putting him out for 35:56. The Nets head coach had been encouraged by the shot selection that Harris had been taking even before he refound his form a bit on Monday night. 

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“Whether we’ve reduced some of his minutes just to take some of the mental and physical load off of him. We’ve had other guys to be able to step up which has been great,” Vaughn said. 

The Nets hosted the Washington Wizards on Wednesday as they continued their seven-game homestand at Barclays center.