The Mavs have a new go-to guy after decades of relying on Dirk Nowitzki to shoot the ball in the final minutes of close ball games. As Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes, this week Harrison Barnes experienced first-hand what that can mean.
After missing a potential game-winner on Monday night, the 25-year-old forward banked home a winner on Wednesday. The Mavs’ new No. 1 threat will have to soon get accustomed to both the highs and lows of getting the final shot.
“When the team trusts you to have the ball in your hands late in the game and you miss a shot like that, you kind of beat yourself up a little,” Barnes, who averages 19.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Mavs, said. “But you have to move on. So when you come to [the Wednesday game], and to make that shot, it felt great.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Don’t mistake Harrison Barnes‘ banked-in Wednesday night winner for anything more than luck, Matt Mosley of The Dallas Morning News adds in a question-and-answer with readers. Although he notes that Barnes’ “clutch” stats are actually pretty strong, he views him as more of a No. 2 or No. 3 option for the Mavs, long-term.
- The Mavs slotted Maxi Kleber into their starting lineup four games ago and have been pleased with the result. Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes that the undrafted rookie has played just 16 minutes per game since moving into the starting lineup but has done a solid job making sure that the team doesn’t get off to slow starts, an issue that had occasionally plagued them.
- The Rockets opted to keep two-way guard Briante Weber with the big league club, as well as forward Troy Williams so that they have more manpower available at practice and late in blowout games, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Yes, that’s a big enough concern for head coach Mike D’Antoni to legitimately plan around. Nine of Houston’s 14 wins so far this season have been by at least 15 points.