Dallas Mavericks: Let’s talk about Devin Harris
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks have been on a very strong stretch of games, thanks in large part to a dominant bench. The return and stellar play of Devin Harris has been a very important part of that.
The Dallas Mavericks have seen a rejuvenated Devin Harris so far this year. During the first game of the year against the Phoenix Suns, Harris went down with a hamstring injury causing him to miss the next 10 games. These games went by slowly as the Mavs went 3-7 during that long stretch.
There were plenty of people who weren’t concerned about Harris coming back, believing him to be a lower-end role player at best. Even though that is likely the role he will settle in to, not as a major contributor on the scoreboard but as a pest and an energizer everywhere else, the Mavs have gotten some incredible play from the veteran guard.
So what has made this year so strong for Devin? On the stat sheet, he has had some great scoring games but hasn’t necessarily been a key contributor each night. He’s not getting excessive amounts of rebounds or assists. His steal numbers are solid but not otherworldly. So what is he doing really well?
For one, Harris is currently averaging the 2nd most points per 36 minutes in his career. In 2008-09, Harris averaged 21.2 points per 36 minutes on his way to his one and only All-Star game appearance with the New Jersey Nets. So far this season, Harris is averaging 19.5 points per 36 minutes.
Harris also currently has his career high in win shares, box plus/minus, offensive rating, defensive rating (both based on per 100 possessions), as well as a career high three-point percentage. Obviously a lot of these are advanced statistics, but it shows that Harris is playing at a level we haven’t seen from him before.
Aside from the deep dive in stats, Harris has also had a couple strong games in the basic stats, with 18-point and 20-point performances over the past three games. In the 18-point performance, Harris managed to snag 4 steals and in the 20-point performance he netted a +29 in the +/- stat.
Harris is an important part of this team. His leadership and hustle can’t be measured in stats, but they are maybe his most important traits for the team. Without Harris, the Mavs would definitely be missing some important parts.
Dallas plays the Lakers in just a little bit and it will be fun to see how Harris contributes to the team. I have a good feeling he will make some important plays.