Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris entered this season having started almost every game he had played since 2018/19 and having averaged 30 or more minutes per night in four consecutive seasons. However, he finds himself coming off the bench in Brooklyn and is logging just 23.0 minutes per night on the season — that number has dipped to 13.6 MPG since the trade deadline.
Harris, who missed most of last season due to ankle issues, isn’t pushing back against his role reduction, as Andrew Crane of The New York Post writes. In fact, the 31-year-old is exhibiting an admirable level of self-awareness about his own limitations, suggesting he’s evolving into more of a “second-unit sort of player” and admitting that he’s not recovering as quickly from minor injuries as he did when he was younger.
“I just am not the same player that I was two, three years ago. It’s not to say that I’m less of a player,” Harris said, adding that he believes he can still be a contributor on a good team. “But I just have to kind of evolve and figure it out.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Celtics forward Grant Williams received his first DNP-CD of the season on Wednesday in a four-point win over Cleveland. Asked after the game why Williams didn’t play at all, head coach Joe Mazzulla simply replied, “Matchups” (Twitter link via Jared Weiss of The Athletic). Williams is in a contract year and will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer.
- Sixers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed on Wednesday that Philadelphia had interest in Kevin Love before the veteran forward signed with the Heat. “We tried to get him too. I know it was us and Miami, probably one other team,” Rivers said (Twitter link via Rich Hofmann of The Athletic). “He’s just a solid player. More importantly, if it hadn’t worked here, if he hadn’t played well, you still want him in the locker room.”
- Raptors assistant coach Earl Watson, who played with Will Barton in Portland in 2013/14, was a factor in Barton’s decision to sign with Toronto, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. “Me and Earl have a very strong relationship,” Barton said on Wednesday. “So, I trust him a lot.”
- Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet made just 1-of-11 shots in his return to the lineup on Tuesday. However, he didn’t turn the ball over and helped jump-start the team’s outside shooting with his knack for making the right pass, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, who argues that VanVleet’s impact even on an off night shows why Toronto needs to prioritize re-signing him this offseason.