Mar 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) drives in against the New York Knicks during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 92-63. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors' Harrison Barnes Flourishing by Being Aggressive

The Golden State Warriors selected Harrison Barnes with the seventh overall selection last June. As a standout player in high school, Barnes faded a little his freshman year at North Carolina and chose to return to Chapel Hill rather than take the expedited route to the NBA. As the starting small forward for the Warriors, Harrison Barnes has developed into an important player very early in his career. However, known primarily as a standstill shooter in college, Barnes has found out the hard way that jump-shooting may not be his game in this level.

After several months in the league, Barnes is finding his groove by becoming an aggressive ball handler. Barnes highest point-per-game average and shooting percentage both came in the month of March. Some might say that’s a coincidence, but the stats prove that once Barnes took the initiative to create a scoring opportunity for himself, the points have been coming.

Although he is not looked at to carry the team just yet, Barnes has scored at least nine points in eight of the last nine games, and in 11 of the 15 games in March. That’s spectacular considering he hit the nine point total just once in the final seven games of February.

He has a freakishly athletic body that is not often seen in a 20 year old. At 6-8, 210-pounds, Barnes can fly through the lane with many of the league’s elite. He has also been known to throw down a monster dunk every once in a while, like the one seen here.

Among all rookies, Barnes currently ranks fifth in points per game and is tied for ninth in rebounds per game. While he lost playing time early in the year to Draymond Green, who is the better defender, his offensive abilities could force coach Mark Jackson to leave him on the court more.

Harrison Barnes could be a key component if the Warriors are to advance in the first round of the playoffs. For that to happen, he will need to continue to be an aggressor on the court.

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