12

Warriors’ Harrison Barnes looks to adjust to new role, put season in past after taking ‘step back’

SAN FRANCISCO — Wide-eyed children of all ages lined up to defend Harrison Barnes one-on-one at a basketball clinic at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and they were dazzled by the Warriors forward’s dunking and dribbling display Thursday.

For Barnes, what hasn’t been child’s play is consistently showing his talents with the Warriors after struggling with his role in his second season. He started as a rookie and after the Warriors brought in Andre Iguodala mainly came off the bench in a campaign he said “wasn’t a good season” for him personally.

“Last year was definitely a step back from what I was trying to build on my rookie year, so now the biggest thing is when the expectations are on the ground, you’ve got to be motivated and disciplined,” Barnes said.

Advertisement

“Regardless of how you played last year, you just kind of have to put that behind you, flush it, and go on.”

Barnes averaged 9.5 points and 4 rebounds as he saw his field goal percentage dip to 39.9 as he led former coach Mark Jackson’s second unit and occasionally got time with the regular starters.

“There was a lot of back-and-forth in terms of starting and not starting,” said Barnes, who started 24 games this past season. “Obviously, I’m just looking forward to going in this year and hopefully have a little more solidarity in whatever position I’m going to be in. Hopefully, it’s not back and forth again. Hopefully, it’s one thing or another. You’re able to get adjusted that way.”

So this offseason, Barnes is doing things a bit differently with his training and said he wanted to work “smarter.”

“Realizing what kind of things you’re going to work on to implement in your game,” Barnes explained. “Last summer, I worked a lot on pick-and-roll because I thought that was how I was going to be used. In actuality, it was more like isolation and post-up. So this year, it’s kind of like going back and refining little things that will make your game better.”

Barnes said he hoped to meet with Steve Kerr this week in person and has a list of questions for the new Warriors coach about how he’ll be used in a new system and what he should work on in the summer in order to be effective.

Advertisement

Barnes, who has sought advice from unnamed mentors who have played the game, has thus far focused on his ball-handling.

“That’s huge,” Barnes said. “To be able to run pick-and-roll, to be able to put Steph (Curry) off the ball, those are the type of things that’s going to help the team win. When you look at the way guys were hounding him in the playoffs, if he could have got a breather, if he could have got an extra guy to handle the ball to put him off (the ball), that would have been big, so definitely I want to improve on that.”

Barnes said he was just worried about the Warriors and getting better rather than paying a lot of attention to his name in trade rumors.

“I learned from Richard Jefferson when I first came in the league that if you’re any good, your name’s going to be circulated around trade rumors,” Barnes said. “Or if it’s not circulating, then you’re probably going to get cut soon.

“From my rookie year to the trade deadline to the playoffs to the post-playoffs to the beginning of the year, it’s always trade talk.”

Diamond Leung

  • Twinkie defense

    “Last summer, I worked a lot on pick-and-roll because I thought that was
    how I was going to be used. In actuality, it was more like isolation and
    post-up.” Jesus, Harrison Barnes is a smarter coach than Mark Jackson. Using Barnes for isolation and post ups (and mass-substituting him in with no real facilitators) is how you use him if you don’t want him to be effective.

  • Jay

    Big fan of Barnes, In fact my favorite college team is UNC, therefore I’ve seen his game evolve and decrease. One thing I can say about Barnes is that he always says the right thing and he is his own best critic. For this team to win we needed big play out of him, but you can tell by his interviews that starting was the key reason his growth was negated. I don’t necessarily want to put everything on coaching, but any other elite head coach with this same roster would have got better results from their bench. Also i can tell by his comments that management and coaching wasn’t upfront when they brought in IGGY, we all knew either Harrison or Klay was gonna come off the bench, but we see that Barnes really didnt know, and that also affected his mentality and thought process. Hopefully Barnes does improve his ball handling that what really separating him from being good and great offensively.

  • Jay

    Exactly he has more to offer but you can tell the focus wasn’t on his growth. Draymond and Ezelli knew how they were going to be used comign off the bench, because they werent starters or accustomed to a many starts as Barnes. Barnes started all last year so he thought his role would expand, but it seems like Mark Jackson and his coaching staff didn’t know how to use him on the floor

  • Twinkie defense

    At least Draymond and Festus knew they just have to play hard and play D, guys aren’t dumping the ball to them and clearing out so that have to go one-on-one.

  • wil

    yep, one of Mark Jackson’s blunders was not knowing how to use Harrison Barnes. ISO’s and post ups was a predicament for disaster, so Harrison Barnes’ regress was not all on him, it was due to his coach not knowing to get the best out of him. But with Kerr, I know things will change. I hope they don’t trade Barnes, I would rather trade D. Lee and D. Green than Barnes.

  • Stan

    First of all..how funny Kerr hasnt hired or even had a first asistant in mind?. Ugh.

    Second,Kawakami gives a dig to Lee for getting a vote far all defense. I guess playing with a tooth sunk in his arm,risking his life and all Lee’s streaks of most scoring games in a row of double figures -over 100 last I heard,and being a fine team player…Kawakami doesn’t see character? Something Kawakami holds near and dear to his little..very little, heart. Jim Harbaugh will tell ya so too.
    Who’s the one in that grudge a tad bit nutty in the head?

    Trade for Love? anybody not named Curry. All other combo’s on the board. And Papa should stay away from talkng basketball when he puts middle of the road Thompson as untradeable for Love. I guess Greg never played the game… not even in the driveway.

  • Geo77

    If Kerr has a coach that’s in the running for a HC job in mind as his first assistant then it’s not at all unexpected that he won’t name his staff until the HC jobs are filled.

    And Papa knows more about NBA basketball than you’ll ever know.

  • Geo77

    I too think Barnes will improve under Kerr, but you don’t trade Draymond at this point. If he can keep improving his offense and 3-pt shooting he could easily end up being one of the most valuable Warriors and the steal of the 2012 draft.

  • J Haskins

    “There was a lot of back-and-forth in terms of starting and not starting,” said Barnes, who started 24 games this past season. “Obviously, I’m just looking forward to going in this year and hopefully have a little more solidarity in whatever position I’m going to be in.

    HB you are a BUST!!! Jackson started out wanting to use you off the bench in pick n roll and pop situations. He also posted you up on mismatches. You failed miserably in both cases. Jackson always put you in position to get good looks. You missed sooo many open shots (39%). When he let you handle the ball you turned it over. And your basketball IQ is extremely low. Your IQ is polar opposite of Draymond Green who is a genius by comparison. Just keep working out for your NEXT team because you are about to be traded.. TRADE BAIT!!!

  • Stan

    Nice excuse for Kerr. Doesn’t sound exactly connected does he?

    Papa thinks Klay Thompson is more valuable then Kevin Love. Klay’s dad even laughs at that.
    No need to say more…

  • Stan

    Right!

  • Jay

    pretty harsh words, when the kid still has time to improve.