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Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes changing his game next to Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks Harrison Barnes (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Harrison Barnes (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Harrison Barnes (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes is making plenty of changes to his game with the addition of Luka Doncic to the squad.

Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes is in his third season with the team. In the first two, the Mavs were far from the playoffs, and Barnes did not live up to expectations that a $95 million contract imposes.

During his two years, Dallas twice drafted in the top ten, which was a rare occurrence for the Mavs. They chose Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic, who together with Barnes should make the skeleton of the new team. The emergence of Doncic has not passed unnoticed and has improved Barnes play as well.

Barnes back to GSW days

Harrison’s game is undergoing sweeping changes, comparable to those that happened after leaving the Golden State Warriors via free agency. Barnes seemed to have found the old DeLorean DMC-12 in the parking lot of American Airlines Center and flies into the past to when he won a ring with the Dubs.

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Barnes was less likely to touch the ball. The value of the indicator “front touch” in this season is 30.7, which is closer to the 2015-2016 season (27.9 touches) than to the previous two seasons (minimum 35.5). Also moving in the direction of the times in Golden State are the indicators of dribbling and time per touch.

Barnes spends less time touching and doing less ball action. He is also posting-up at about half the previous rate. Dendrogram for Hierarchical clustering combines seasons, primarily similar to each other. That shows that from the last six seasons, the current is most similar to his second NBA season in 2013-2014.