Warriors forward Harrison Barnes was named first-team All-Rookie, the NBA announced on Tuesday. Then in Game 5, he went on to look like an All-NBA selection.
Barnes was Golden State’s best player in Tuesday’s 109-91 loss to the host Spurs. He led the Warriors with 25 points on 10 of 18 shooting to go with seven rebonds and a block in 39 minutes. He had his 3-pointer going, his midrange going and his post game looked unstoppable at times.
TNT ANALYST KENNY SMITH: “I didn’t realize he could put the ball on the floor as much as he could. I didn’t realize he had individual one-on-one moves. … The NBA style of play and the way Mark Jackson has implemented him, the playoffs are a coming out party for him.”
Barnes has now scored 25 points in back-to-back playoff games. The last rookie to do that was Tim Duncan in 1998. He’s the third player under 21 since 1979 to score 20 points or more four times in a single postseason. The other two: Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.
So far in this series, he is averaging 19 points and eight rebounds in 43.4 minutes per game.
Not bad for the guy who had the fewest first-team votes of the rookies selected.
BARNES: “Hard to celebrate after getting pounded like we did.”
He joined Portland guard Damian Lillard, the Rookie of the Year, Washington guard Bradley Beal, New Orleans forward Anthony Davis and Cleveland guard Dion Waiters on the first team. Barnes received 18 first-team votes from NBA coaches.
MARK JACKSON: “He was very excited. Told all of the guys in our first huddle. Everybody high-fived and hugged and dapped and acted as if it was them who got the recognition. This is a total team thing.”
After an up-and-down rookie campaign, Barnes has emerged as a formidable weapon for the Warriors since forward David Lee went down with a torn right hip flexor.
He started all 81 games for Golden State and averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 25.4 minutes. In these playoffs, he’s up to 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 39.1 minutes.
While Jackson welcomed the news of Barnes’ first-team selection, it does require an adjustment on his part. He’s talked nonstop about the Warriors getting snubbed from honors and recognition. From Klay Thompson not being invited to the 2012 Rookie Challenge, to Curry being left off the 2013 All-Star team, to Bob Myers finishing seventh in executive of the year voting. He’s used it all to drum up the underdog card.
But with Barnes being honored, his beef loses credence.
JACKSON: “Yeah, I’ve got to work on another angle.”