Dubs by the Digits: Harrison Barnes


Recently, we started a series of articles called “Dubs by the Digits.” These articles give fans a quick statistical breakdown on members of the Golden State Warriors.

The first article of this series was about Warriors backup point guard, Shaun Livingston, the second article of this series was about Warriors shooting guard/small forward, Brandon Rush, the third article in this series was about Warriors small forward/power forward, Draymond Green.

The fourth article in this series was about Warriors shooting guard/small forward Andre Iguodala, the fifth article in this series was about Warriors center Andrew Bogut, and the most recent article in this series was about Warriors guard Leandro Barbosa.

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The next Warriors player we’ll take a look at is Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes.

Barnes is entering his third season in the NBA with the Warriors, and he’s had an interesting start to his NBA career. His rookie season was not overly impressive, but his performance in the 2013 postseason was spectacular and made people see his potential.

Barnes then suffered a serious sophomore slump. After the Warriors acquired Andre Iguodala, Barnes was moved into the sixth man role. Barnes had to adjust to coming off the bench, which he had never done in his basketball career. This turned out to be a tougher adjustment than Barnes expected, and Barnes never really showed the same spark last season that he showed in the 2013 postseason.

Heading into the 2014-2015 season, there are certainly several areas where Barnes can improve such as his ball-handling, most importantly, and his three-point shooting, especially if he is utilized more as a stretch four this season in Steve Kerr‘s new offensive system.

Barnes hopes to regain some lost confidence this upcoming season. Let’s look at his stats from his first two seasons:

PTSREBASTFG %FT%3PT %TS%Off./Def. RtgGames(starts)MIN
2012-20139. (81)25.4
Postseason16.16.41.344.485.736.554.4111/10812 (12)38.4
2013-20149.541.539.971.834.748.6100/10578 (24)28.3
Postseason7.941.139.656.338.150107/1177 (0)22.3

-TS%, true shooting percentage, measures player’s shooting efficiency, takes into account field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws.
-Offensive rating: points produced per 100 possessions
-Defensive rating: points allowed per 100 possessions

Barnes put up similar stats in his rookie season as he did in his sophomore season. He obviously started only 24 games out of 78 games in his second season, compared to starting all 81 games he played in his rookie season.

He didn’t shoot as well in his sophomore season, which can be attributed to the fact that, coming off the bench, he had to create more of his own shots (which isn’t his strength) since he was playing more of his minutes alongside Toney Douglas, Steve Blake, or Jordan Crawford instead of Stephen Curry and Iguodala, who are more natural playmakers.

May 1, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots the basketball during the second quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Clippers 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

His stats confirm that his performance in the 2013 postseason was stellar. He put up impressive numbers in all categories, but he couldn’t put up the same type of numbers in the 2013-2014 season and during the 2014 postseason.

In the 2014 postseason though, he did shoot the highest three-point percentage of his career. With Andrew Bogut out of the 2014 postseason, Barnes was used more as a stretch four, which he has excelled at in the past, given his superior speed to more prototypical power forwards. Because of this, he was able to get better looks from three-point range, and then he inherently knocked down more threes. Barnes could find a renewed sense of confidence if he sees more minutes as a stretch four this upcoming season.

His free-throw percentage both last season, in general, and in the postseason declined. Since free throws are often more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge, this is most likely attributed to the decline in his confidence that he suffered last season. Coming off the bench, as mentioned before, was a difficult transition for him, and this affected him mentally on the court, in several statistical categories.

It might be a little bit of a stretch to expect Barnes to average stats similar to the ones he averaged in the 2013 postseason, but those stats could certainly be a goal or a benchmark for him this upcoming season.

Barnes needs to find a way to not think so much during games. That might sound odd, but he needs to let the game come to him in order to regain some confidence. If he’s able to do this, the game will slow down for him, and he’ll be able to shoot more fluidly and get to the basket more effectively.