As we looked forward to this season, we wondered if Harrison Barnes would be able to improve on last season's performance. Barnes was coming off a career year in terms of scoring efficiency, rebounds, and assists. Barnes had found a role where he didn't need to be a primary option to score (as he had been miscast as in Dallas), and could contribute in all other areas. Could he maintain that level of play? Could he possibly improve?
I wrote in September:
It's possible that we've seen the best we're going to see from Barnes, and all we can hope for now is to maintain that same production. But Barnes is one King who doesn't have a glaring weakness. If Barnes continues to provide well-rounded production while being a stable force in the locker room and a positive force in the community, I'll be perfectly happy.
Oh September Greg, you fool.
In the first 11 games of the season Barnes has taken a major step forward. When the Kings have lacked scoring (in part because of De'Aaron Fox's slump), Barnes has stepped up. He's currently averaging 22.5 points per game on 13.5 shots. That's an extra 6.4 PPG on 2.4 more attempts compared to last year. He's shooting 55% overall and 43.5% from beyond the arc.
Barnes' rebounding is up too. Last year he averaged 6.6 per game, a career high. So far this year he's at 8.7 a night. His assists have dropped from 3.5 to 2.7, but 2.7 would still be the second highest average of his career. And his steals are at a career-high 1.1 per game. Barnes has remained a solid-if-not-great defender. In short, Barnes has significantly upped his production without sacrificing any of his efficiency.
We're obviously just 11 games into the season and there's plenty of time for regression to occur, but it's worth taking a moment to appreciate just how great Barnes has been so far. The Kings certainly would not be 5-6 at this point without the way he has stepped up. I suspect the scoring and rebounding will come down a little, but I won't be surprised at all if Barnes finishes the year with career-best numbers.
Kevin said this on Twitter earlier, but HB might be the best starting 4 in the Western Conference right now (depends on if you think AD being too chicken to play Center counts as him being a 4)
Could very well be, especially when you look at rosters and see the 4 spot as mutil-positional defenders as opposed to dynamic scorers/rebounders/playmakers. Folks like Jae Crowder, Royce O’Neal, Aaron Gordon, Robert Covington, etc, are more glue guys who might be the 4th to 5th option on offense.
Gone are the days of the traditional post playing and body banging PF who gets you 20 and 10, which is in part why Bagley can’t get off the bench.
I really appreciate the shot at AD. It was completely unnecessary – yet completely necessary at the same time
You will find no one to disagree with this. This comment section should be rare in that everyone should agree and it should be like butterflies and rainbows in here.
Wait for Andy Sims…
He always has something negative to say.
At least on one comment of an unlucky poster!
HE’S TOO GOOD
Who said the signing of Barnes 2 years ago was a terrible contract? Ummmmmm…
you ou were very very wrong. The kings are now littered with excellent contracts in Barnes, Holmes, dare I say Buddy with his decreasing contract?!?!
maybe even Fox (even though he is sucked no so far this year). He’s been a great player with substantial improvement every year he’s been in the league. He’s had a shit beginning to the 2021/22 season. The greatness we watched and began to expect is still in there. There’s no way that 2 weeks over rules 4 years. Dude is a stud and will be a bigger one soon. We have to try and not over react to his struggles at this point in his career. He’ll figure it out and start shooting and finishing better soon.
Its true, HBs declining contract is good value. Buddy’s could still be either good or bad, time will tell
Fox great , not at all ! Very good , but has never been a max player – just paid like one !
I think he can play SF
On a less positive note, whatever you do if you want to keep your Kings fandom sanity, don’t listen to James Ham talking on D-Lo and KC right now!
Agree, and that show is impossible to listen if you are a somewhat knowledgeable fan ! Whitey and Kridler were much better !
No, I love the show.
Ham talking about Vivek and Monty.
(ps The Rise Guys are awesome too!)
What happened? What’d he say?
Vivek apparently is still talking jazz band leaders after all these years.
No, seriously. Monty said that Vivek likes jazz band leaders.