Gary Harris Already Making Case for All-Defensive Team Honors
Gary Harris has been a part of the Denver Nuggets‘ core for a while now. Not only is he a solid shooting guard, but he has always been a stingy defender as well. Well, even though it is just the start of the year, he is already making a strong case for All-Defensive Team honors. Both his regular defensive numbers and advanced statistics help his case in this regard. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at what Gary Harris has been doing so far this season and how impressive his defensive numbers have been to start the year.
Gary Harris Making Case for All-Defensive Team Honors
Who Gary Harris Has Guarded So Far
To start the year, Harris has had some extremely tough matchups. He’s had to guard the likes of CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Buddy Hield, and Luka Doncic. Bear in mind, these have just been his primary assignments. There have been plenty of other players he has had to guard this season as well. Despite having to guard multiple stars already, Harris has held his own on the defensive end of the floor. He has yet to give up more than 10 points to a matchup with Lillard coming the closest with nine points when guarded by Harris. Meanwhile, other notable players he has locked up have been McCollum (five points), Booker (two points), Rodney Hood (no points), and Ricky Rubio (no points).
Gary Harris has also done a great job forcing turnovers as well. CJ McCollum had five turnovers in their loss against Denver. Then, Devin Booker had three turnovers when they faced off against the Nuggets. The list continues with Buddy Hield having five turnovers in the Sacramento Kings’ loss to the Denver Nuggets. Finally, despite Denver losing a close game to the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic had a tough night as he finished the game with four turnovers. Gary Harris has not backed down from a challenge so far and is not about to do so for the remainder of the season.
Harris’ Defensive Numbers
The Denver Nuggets have benefited greatly from Gary Harris stepping in as the team’s defensive ace. He and the other defensive anchor, Paul Millsap, have led the Nuggets to a top 15 (104.3) defensive rating in the league so far. Not to mention, the team is currently ranked 10th in blocks per game as well. As far as Harris’ performance is concerned, it seems as if he is finally healthy. He is having his best year defensively since the 2017-18 season. So far, Harris is averaging a career-best defensive rating of 106. This couples with his second-best career steal average of 1.5 per game. His current steal percentage stands at 2.3 percent to go along with a career-high defensive rebounding percentage of 9.4 percent.
It is easy to see why Gary Harris has a solid case for All-Defensive Team honors. He is making a case for being one of the better-known perimeter defenders alongside the likes of Eric Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday, Patrick Beverley, and other great defensive guards in the league. Most Denver fans already knew about his defensive grit. However, this year is the year the rest of the league is taking notice. All in all, Gary Harris has been the Denver Nuggets’ best defender this season. As a result, it will continue to benefit the team in a great way as the season progresses.
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