Nuggets' Gary Harris is quietly putting together a terrific campaign

Nuggets' Gary Harris is quietly putting together a terrific campaign


Nuggets' Gary Harris is quietly putting together a terrific campaign

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Denver Nuggets wing Gary Harris, now in his fourth professional season, has proven himself as an effective player on both sides of the ball.

The 23-year-old signed a massive contract extension for the Nuggets during the recent offseason. However, he has already proven why Denver entrusted him as a future cornerstone of the franchise. He has impressed as a scorer and as a defender for the team and ranks No. 3 overall among shooting guards for ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus.

While no player on the Nuggets ranks in the Top 10 for an early return on All-Star voting, future voters must consider this emerging star.

Harris is shooting 141-of-225 (62.7 percent) on his two-point field goal attempts, which trails only LeBron James among all guards who have had at least as many opportunities.

He has performed particularly well near the rim, hitting 98-of-140 (70.0 percent) of his shots within five feet of the basket. This is on pace with big men like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Karl-Anthony Towns and the best rate among guards besides James.

But he is also an effective outside shooter, especially from the left corner. So far this season, he has made 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) shots from this zone. As such, he ranks Top 10 in the league among those with at least as many similar attempts.

He makes smart decisions and rarely misses once he finds the right chance.

Meanwhile, opposing offenses are shooting 3.0 percent worse overall against Harris and 8.8 percent worse on three-pointers.

His steals (1.9 per game) ranks Top 5 in the league and his steal percentage (32.8 percent) is the highest among those who have played at least as many minutes.

For hustle stats, he leads his team with 3.3 deflections per game and his 112 deflections rank Top 10 in the league so far this season. These are the kinds of moments you can expect from Harris for Denver.

Overall, the Nuggets have outscored opponents by 7.0 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court. With his defensive impact and his accurate touch on offense, he looks to be a very special player for his franchise.

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