Devin Harris is my favorite Dallas Maverick (Dirk is not a player he is a deity) of all time. When he was drafted into the league in 2004 and immediately traded to our team in a deal for Antawn Jamison, I latched onto DH34 like an insect, except I wasn’t weird about it.
A bobblehead, autograph, green jersey, action figure, signed rookie card and blue jersey shirt later……it’s still not weird. I also have a Justin Timberlake bobblehead so, let’s move on.
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I cried when we traded him in 2008. I laughed at my 14-year old tears in cruel mockery at age 18 when Jason Kidd helped lead us to the promise land in 2011. I absolutely loved watching him and Gordon Hayward play together in Utah for a season and a half. I rejoiced when he returned home to Dallas in 2013. Rumor has it he was a Hawk somewhere in there, and to that I challenge you to find a Hawks fan to agree that he was actually there.
Actually find a Hawks fan. Moving on…
Since returning to our Dallas Mavericks last season, Devin Harris has evolved as most players do when they age. If their game was predicated on using their youth and athleticism of their more prime years to get to the basket then the pattern seems consistent and full proof for staying around in the league as you start to hit the 30’s…improve that jump shot.
2 20’s Make 2 Favorites For Ace
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Particularly from three point range, where baskets made count worth one more point than two’s.
Devin Harris has done that, it just took a year. We’re in that year.
During his first go around in Dallas from 2004-05 to the trade deadline in 2008, Devin harris never shot above 34% from downtown. In fact, he twice shot below 30% and in his second year in the NBA made just five three’s in 21 tries. That’s not very effective. I failed math, but that sir, is not good sir.
When he returned at age 30 on the mark last year, he shot a still poor 31 percent from downtown in an injury shortened 40 game season. In the playoff series vs. San Antonio he went 11-25 from three. Safe to say, the clutch factor kicked in, or perhaps the clutch factor in Devin Harris was born. In further contract, his 5-21 2005-06 season he shot 0-8 in the postseason, one that went all the way down to Dwyane Wade.
The success Devin Harris experienced in that seven game series vs. the eventual title claiming Spurs has carried over into the first two games of the much anticipated and very important 2014-2015 season. Harris renewed his contract before the season for multiple years, not at too much of a price (he’ll make just under $4 million this year and somewhere over each of the next three seasons) largely because the glaring hole in his repertoire remained his inability to be trusted with the ultimate floor spacer, the three-point shot. With the new look roster and his gradual transition to playing a whole lot more two guard, it was crucial for Harris’ three point efficiency to improve.
Lake Show Life
That it has.
Through the two games at San Antonio and at home against the Jazz, he’s put together two great games. From behind the extra point marker he’s 2 of 5 and 3 of 7. What stands out besides obviously the made three point field goals is the attempts. That’s 12 attempts in two games for a player who once went a whole season with less than twice that as his complete total.
The only problem I can possibly find with Devin Harris’ evolved game from behind the arc is something that sticks out like a white running back or a stormtrooper actually hitting targets is the timing of some of these three pointers in something that was also a problem last year.
2 for 1 three pointers.
I’m not a fan of 2 for 1’s, especially an ill-advised and ill-fated heave from two steps behind the three point line –not to mention 2 for 1’s in genera. They often result in rushed opportunities that end up culminating in a buzzer beating attempt a defensive stop or given up score later. (Most players these days don’t even want to attempt a shot from half court or further to save their stats or potential incentives…like Devin Harris himself did in the Opener)
So far this season, the Mavericks backup guard has taken two 2 for 1 attempts, one in each game, both destined for rim at best the second they left his hand.
Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
At the Spurs he heaved one up with 36.9 left in the 2nd quarter, appropriate timing for a 2 for 1 but still a possession wasted. Neither team scored in their final chances.
In game two versus Utah, the 11-year veteran sent one flying with 31.9 left in third, clearly playing the 2 for 1 game. The Mavericks got a defensive rebound with 8.2 left, absolutely enough time to get a good look, but one worth throwing away the prior possession away? No thanks.
So while there’s a vast improvement in this part of Devin Harris’ arsenal, It’s getting a little predictable and a lotta frustrating. Every possession counts, we’ve learned that lesson in the form of games too many times before.
NOTE: Tomorrow will make ten years in the National Basketball Association for Devin Harris. Just wanted to include that. I love Devin, I’m not knocking him, but you know that logical reader.