After sitting out the start of the 2013 NBA season for the Golden State Warriors with a toe injury, Harrison Barnes has been back in action for about two weeks now. After sparking the Warriors’ first round upset in the playoffs last season as a small-ball four, many people have been excited about what the second-year forward is going to do this season.
In his initial return to action off of the injury, though, Barnes was clearly a bit rusty and wasn’t earning a great deal of minutes on the floor. He wasn’t playing with a great deal of aggressiveness and was also having trouble with some of his effectiveness, as well. As of late, though, Barnes seems to be getting into a bit of a groove.
On Monday night as the Warriors beat the Utah Jazz much more handily than the 98-87 score indicates, Barnes finished the night with an impressive 17 points, five rebounds and one assist on 7-10 shooting from the floor and 2-2 shooting from deep. With that performance, Barnes has averaged 14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27 minutes per game over his last three contests while shooting an impressive 18-34 from the field and 4-6 from three.
When on the floor, Barnes provides so many different challenges for opposing teams. On both ends of the floor, his unique blend of strength and quickness allow him to have an advantage in a number of different types of matchups. With him regaining confidence and aggressiveness, that just adds to his value.
Though he was impressive as a starter last season and in the postseason, I actually really like Barnes coming off of the bench this year for Golden State. He helps this team throw different looks out there and keep teams on their toes with him at the wing or as a substitute for David Lee. Either way, these last three games are just the beginning of what we’ll hear from Barnes this year, or so I would expect.