In his first true opportunity to be a star player on an NBA franchise, Harrison Barnes is making the most of it with the Dallas Mavericks. This includes improving on different aspects of his game. In light of that, he stated that he wants to mold his iso game after one NBA great.
“No one was like, ‘Paul Pierce is a great ball handler,’ but he could always get to his spot. He could always get separation. That’s one thing that I still need to get better at. No matter whether it was a backdown, face-up, transition, he went at his pace and could always get to his spot. That’s one thing I’ve just got to continue to get better at. No matter what the situation, he could always get to his spot, get a little lean.”
“He was great at using his body and then could get to his shot without just using his athletic ability to jump straight over people. Using fakes with his shoulder, with his body, rolling off guys – all those little things that he did, it was really remarkable. Now, I’m studying him the most.”
During the prime of his career, Pierce was a proven scorer that had the ability to get to his spots on the floor to get a basket. He had established that with his work in isolation plays by utilizing his footwork and size to create space on his shot. It’s something that also helped make him a reliable player in the clutch late in games.
Barnes has plenty to improve on in this area of the game, but the fact that he’s studying Pierce shows that he has a true desire to do that. He’s already off to a hot start averaging 21.2 points per game, which includes scoring 20 or more points eight times with three 30-point outings. Although the Mavericks are struggling, the team should be quite encouraged by the play of Barnes.