Two seasons ago Devin Harris was slashing into defenses, scoring 21.3 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 56.3. He was one of the best young point guards in the game.
Last season, the Nets tried to make him more of a passer — his percentage of assists went up and his shots per game went down. The result was a much less effective Harris — he scored 16.9 points per game but his TS dropped to a pedestrian 51.2 percent. The reason largely was he was getting nearly one fewer shots per game at the rim, and he was getting to the line 2.8 fewer times per game.
New Nets coach Avery Johnson wants the old Harris back, as he told the Bergen Record.
“When he was really good, in my opinion, teams used to lose sleep over him because of his penetration,” Johnson said. “I think he’s got to look to score first with our team.
“Devin’s going to set the table for us. He’s the head of the snake. He’s got to be the engine for our basketball team. When our opposing coaches go to sleep I want them to be really concerned about him breaking down the defense and scoring, and secondly passing.”
With a slashing Harris and center Brook Lopez, the Nets have a potentially good inside-out offense. Well, if somebody can knock down the kick-out passes. Anthony Morrow, that’s you.