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If Harrison Barnes wants minutes, he’s got to bury his looks

Sep 5, 2012, 1:26 AM EDT

Harrison Barnes AP

Harrison Barnes, the rookie out of North Carolina, was up and down at NBA Summer League. Against the Lakers he was aggressive, attacking the rim on his way to 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He showed a real chemistry with Klay Thompson. But then the next night Barnes would come out passive and the game ran past him, and he would go 5-of-17. He finished the league averaging 16.8 points per game but on 39.5 percent shooting.

And that was against Summer League competition. Things are about to get a lot tougher.

Barnes is on the wing for Golden State, where Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush can already play. And they are going to hit their shots. Which puts the pressure on Barnes, something Matt Steinmetz breaks down at

Barnes’ strengths seem to be his size, his athleticism and his ability to shoot the basketball in certain situations. He’s not the type of player who can consistently create his own shot – and it remains to be seen whether he’ll become one – but he does have the ability to elevate after one dribble and shoot over some defenders….

How much Barnes plays will probably be determined in large part by whether or not he can make shots consistently. He’s said to be a pretty good shooter, but his numbers in college weren’t that impressive: 43 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range in 75 total games.

It’s simplistic and obvious to say “he has to make shots to get on the court” but that doesn’t make it any less true in this case because his defense is not going to win him minutes. That’s not his area of focus. He’s going to have to put the ball in the basket to see the court, because Rush and Jefferson will hit their shots.

Barnes is the long-term guy at the three for Golden State. But long term does not mean he starts or gets big minutes next season.

  1. money2long - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Ooh. So this won’t be a Tebow situation where he can miss most of his targets and earn a starting spot

  2. sun602 - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    When the title mentioned “Bury his looks”, I thought it was referring to how good looking Barnes is.

  3. srgpsycho - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    GS has plenty of untested talent which should start producing results when they grow up a bit. Give them time & better things seem on the horizon for GS. Maybe around the mid season mark. Most important for GS is to install a winning philosophy. Last seasons illustration of the matador D doesn’t get it. You can’t let others walk in for uncontested layup’s without paying the price for trying! Crack someone in the head occasionally to get their attention. Ezeli seems to fit the bill as to draft for need. We Need D!!!!!!!! Today!!!!! Pronto!!!!!

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