Harris has been a lights-out 3-pointer shooter this season, and, more broadly, just an ultra-effective scorer. In fact, Harris’ level of effectiveness is currently at a historic rate.
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Joe Harris Is Currently Edging Wilt Chamberlain
Harris is averaging 14.7 points (on 52.4 percent shooting), 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 36 games this season. Even more impressive: He’s averaging 3.4 3-pointers per game, which ranks seventh in the NBA this season.
Still more impressive: He’s been much more accurate from downtown than the six players ahead of him in 3s per game; Harris is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, and the next closest player inside the top seven in 3-pointers per game is Paul George (45 percent on 3s).
But most impressive: Harris’ effectiveness on 3-pointers, paired with his general effectiveness shooting, leaves him with a 68.9 effective field goal percentage this season. If the season ended today, Harris would be the all-time single-season leader in the category, narrowly edging Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain (who had a 68.3 eFG% in the 1966-67 season) and Artis Gilmore (65.3 eFG% in 1981-82), per basketball-reference.com. (In order to qualify for the stat, a player must be averaging a minimum of 10 field goal attempts per game).
Anytime you’re ahead of Chamberlain in a basketball-related stat, you know you’re doing something right.
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Harris Knows His Role
Harris, who has been with the Nets since 2016, made an appearance on the most recent edition of “The Woj Pod” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. During it, he made something clear.
“I’m not a star player,” the 29-year-old told Wojnarowski. “My job is to be the best role player in the NBA. That’s my goal.”
So far, so good.
Harris, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward who was selected out of Virginia in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft, is shooting 43.7 percent from 3-point range for his career, good for fifth all-time.
He’s also the all-time leader in 3-point percentage of NBA players who have attempted at least 1,700 3-pointers in their career. There have been 262 players to do so.
Harris has been quick to pass credit to his teammates — specifically Harden, whom he was asked about by Woj.
“I think the one thing that’s pretty underrated in his game is his ability to pass the ball,” Harris said of Harden. “He’s by far the best passer that I’ve ever played with.”
Better passes have meant more open looks from 3 for one of the best to ever do it.
No 3-Point Contest for Harris
Harris won the NBA 3-point contest in 2019, but he won’t be in Atlanta this weekend to try to take home his second title.
Harris has been outspoken about the NBA proceeding with its All-Star Weekend in the midst of the pandemic.
“I wish well to all the participants,” he said on February 10, via SNY.
Harris would have had a great chance to win another 3-point contest; his 3-point percentage this season is about seven points higher than the next closest participant in this year’s contest. The list of contestants this year includes Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Chicago’s Zach LaVine.