Kim Klement/USA TODAY
It has been an up-and-down season for Maurice Harkless just barely a month into his second year. Mostly, it has been down.
Harkless' averages -- 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game -- are similar to the numbers from his rookie year. His field goal shooting is down from 46.1 percent to 44.0 percent overall and down from 51.0 percent to 45.5 percent on 2-point field goals. His free throw shooting is at an abysmal 50.0 percent on the year to this point.
Something is clearly not right with Maurice Harkless.
Maybe it is the expansion of his offensive game that him trying new things and trying to score in different ways. He is no longer a stand-in-the-corner and wait-for-the-ball kind of player. He is attacking the basket more off the dribble and trying to score. According to Synergy Sports, Harkless has used a possession as the ball-handler in pick and rolls on 12.9 percent of his possessions (a total of 19 times) for 0.74 points per possession.
Most of his possessions still come in spot-up situations (35.6 percent). His possessions off of cuts have certainly decreased from last year -- to 8.7 percent of possessions -- when that is how he got the bulk of his two-point scoring.
"When I see an opening if I've got the ball, I'm going to drive it," Harkless said. "If I have an open shot, I'm going to shoot it. Sometimes the ball comes my way, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't have any plays drawn up for me, so I get it when I fit in. When I get the opportunity, I attack."
That is the attitude you want. Harkless went through a training camp for the first time in his young career and has changed his body to change his game some. Harkless has more confidence attacking the basket and putting the ball on the floor than he did last year.no comments