Joe Harris has racked up a team-high 1,114 minutes so far this season and it shows, as Brian Lewis reports Wednesday, citing his January statistics.
Harris is shooting 37.5 percent, and just 25.9 percent from 3-point range — that from a deadeye who led the league last year at 47.4 and hit 41.9 the season before that. And he’s sinking just 61.1 percent from the charity stripe after making 82.7 percent each of the past two years.
It’s not a surprise to the Nets. They knew that Harris’ two China trips last fall —first in late August for the FIBA World Cup, then in early October for the NBA China Games— was going to be wearing. Harris also make a stop in Tanzania last September to check up on his Hoops2O project.
And so on Friday, Kenny Atkinson held him out of a game, to give him a rest. At least in the short term, it didn’t work. Harris shot 1-of-5 from deep and had five turnovers.
“That was part of it. We held him out for a reason,” Atkinson told The Post regarding Harris’ wear-and-tear. “But he’s not going to want me to use that as an excuse. You have to ask him.”
The fatigue also raises the question of how far NBA players should go in repping their home countries and for how long.
“Listen I think about it, too,” Atkinson said. “Team USA, you’ve seen it. So we knew it was coming and we’ve got to manage it. That’s all. He’s not as spry as he normally is. He’s grinding through it.
“I think it’s a fair observation: We see the same thing. That was part of the reason [we sat him]. I thought [Monday] he was a little better.”
Nets Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have retired from the international game after winning gold medals both in the Olympics and FIBA World Cup. Harris, as a member of the World Cup team, could get an invitation to the 2020 Olympics, as could France’s Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Olympics will require almost as long a trip, to Tokyo.
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