Nets James Harden Sends Strong Message to Joe Harris About Shooting Slump

James Harden, Kyrie Irving

Getty James Harden and Kyrie Irving at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

In Game 5, Brooklyn Nets’ star Kevin Durant put the team on his back as he netted 49 points to go along with 17 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead the Nets back from a 17-point deficit in the 3rd Quarter. Durant became the first player in NBA Playoff history to have a stat line of at least 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 114-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. After a historic performance in Game 5, all eyes were on Durant to see if he would be giving fans an encore performance in Game 6.

Durant finished the night with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists in an 89 – 104 loss. The loss now ties the series at 3 games apiece as the series shifts back to Brooklyn for a crucial Game 7 that will decide the winner of the series.

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Harden Calls Harris Best Shooter in the World

Stepping aside from Durant’s big night, the loss can mostly be blamed on the lack of help the two-time champion had from his teammates. James Harden and Blake Griffin were the only other Nets to crack double digits in Game 6 but only combined for 28 points. Joe Harris may look like a shell of himself in this series but even amid a shooting slump, Harden believes that Harris is the best shooter in the world.

“Yesterday at shootaround, I told him he’s the best shooter in the world,” Harden told reporters after Game 6 per Matt Brooks of NetsDaily.

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Steve Nash Sounds off on Joe Harris’ Struggles

Even if Durant were to give fans a repeat performance of Game 5 in Game 7, he alone can not get it done. The rest of the team will have to show up big if they want to secure a victory and advance to the next round. Harris has struggled mightily in this series with Milwaukee. Nets’ head coach Steve Nash believes that his sharpshooter is due for a breakout game at some point in this series.

“Yeah, I would say he’s due. It’s interesting, maybe I should talk to him. I have all the confidence in the world in Joe. Every time he shoots the ball, I think it’s going in and that hasn’t changed these last three games and it won’t change tomorrow night,” Nash said to reporters ahead of Game 6 per NetsDaily. “We all go through stages when the ball doesn’t go through the basket. It happens. But that doesn’t diminish my respect and confidence in Joe at all.”

In Game 6 Harris shot just 1/4 from the three-point line and 4/9 overall contributing virtually nothing offensively. Still, Nash will not let that sway him from his game plan. Sometimes shooters get into a funk and Harris will have to work his way out of it.

“I think it’s important to stick with it. Joe’s a smart guy and an elite, elite shooter. It happens,” Nash continued. “No one’s going to shoot to their norm or even their average every night, so it’s important to just stick with it. I’m not worried about Joe Harris at all. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s an incredible shooter, and if he gets the same looks my money is on him.”

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