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Joe Harris on the routine and the rhythm of shooting

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Harris, he of the gaudy three-point shooting percentage, sat down with Rob Perez, aka World Wide Wob this week and talked about a lot of things, but mainly how he’s become one of the game’s great deep shooters, hitting almost 50 percent of his shots.

He may look like a natural and to an extent he is blessed but it’s about hard work, Harris tells Perez, that is the the routine and the rhythm. He described, for example, his pregame routine and how it, hopefully, leads to a rhythm in the game.

“It’s like the simplest thing ever. I mean, I do the same thing I have for the last four years. I like to get to the arena pretty early. Like I said, probably three hours before tip. So, like, for a 7 p.m. game, I’ll try to get there around 4. I’ll probably make 75 shots and [it] usually takes me about 10, 15 minutes, and they’re kind of just from a variety of spots. I go through in-game actions and some different spot-up shooting. Just get the rhythm, but the whole routine itself has been exactly the same for the last four years.”

It may seem simple to Harris —and Perez notes that when Harris arrives, he walks in the main entrance — but how does he explain going from 37% to 39% to 42% to almost now 50%? It’s about the confidence he gets from Kenny Atkinson, his teammates and the Nets system.

“They want guys taking a lot of 3s, so for me, I come into the situation, that’s my game. That’s what got me to the NBA, and I’ve kind of been able to refine it here over the last couple of years. But like I said, [it’s] the routine that I have. The off-season work that I put in. Everything is geared around how I’m going to get shots in the game, and I think getting more and more comfortable within the offense, within the system, with teammates, elevates your confidence, and that’s kind of where I’m at right now.”

Getting there, he tells Perez, took some time. Indeed, on one day in 2016, he was traded by the Cavs and cut, first by the Magic, then by a surgeon who successfully tried to help his recurrent foot pain by removing one of the bones in his foot. In part, he credits watching LeBron James, his teammate on the Cavs for a year and a half.

“I always tell people he’s arguably the best athlete in the world in taking care of his body. For me, as a young player coming into the NBA, it was a really valuable experience just being able to learn and see that and see how diligent he was and focused to the little things in terms of taking care of his body, and [see] how that translates to the basketball court and helps you play better.”

Brooklyn, of course, with its performance and analytics culture, follows that model and Harris appreciates the way the Nets embrace it all, talking about one shooting exercise.

“We do this shooting workout called the Nets 105, and a lot of teams have their own variation to it, where basically you shoot 105 threes that must be done at game speed and game sort of shots...

“The highest I’ve ever gotten is 91 on it. And that’s coming off like cuts and screens, stuff like that. Not just standing still.”

So, asks Perez, how does he feel about possibly participating in the Three-Point competition at the All-Star Game. Of course, he wants it and explains why. It would be “fun.”

“Obviously I’m a big fan of the game itself. I watch All-Star weekend and all the events that happen every year, and for me, I think it’d be just more of an awesome opportunity. Just to be able to go and do something fun. I wouldn’t put a ton of pressure on it. I think it’d be fun just to represent the Nets and myself, too.”

It won’t be long now before we learn if Harris will participate and once again reap the rewards of the routine and rhythm.