With the incredible performances Spencer Dinwiddie has been putting forth, Joe Harris has been equally as good in a sidekick role.
But what’s a hero without a trusted and reliable wingman?
We all know of Spencer’s love for Marvel, especially Iron Man. So it only makes sense that Joe Harris is the James Rhodes (War Machine) to Dinwiddie’s Tony Stark (Iron Man). For all the good Spencer has done in the absence of Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert, Harris has been right there with him providing much-needed support.
Since Brooklyn’s infamous early-season road trip which saw two of its best players go down to injury, the team has surprised and shocked many. Fans knew LeVert would be out until sometime in January. It’s Kyrie’s nagging shoulder injury that’s caused some concern and unrest though.
But in stepped Dinwiddie to save the day, along with Harris. The Nets are 12-6 so far without Irving. What Dinwiddie is doing is well documented and garnering national attention, but what about his main source of support?
Over the past 10 games, Harris has seen an uptick in his production. This is largely due to the attention Dinwiddie has been receiving during his hot stretch. “Beef Jerky” Joe has averaged 16.2 points-per-game, shooting 49.6% from the field and knocking down the three-ball at a clip of 43.5%. His free-throw shooting has also gone up a few percentage points.
Joe’s ability to fire away from deep also helps Dinwiddie by keeping the floor spread, allowing for more one-on-one opportunities—similarly to how War Machine handles the lesser henchmen so Iron Man can go after the main villain.
While on the floor together, Dinwiddie and Harris boast the best plus-minus (5.7) of any combination of players on the Nets. In the 18 games without Kyrie, Harris has been the team’s second-leading scorer at 15.9 points-per-game and boasts a 113.2 offensive rating.
With the exception of two poor performances, Harris has been a consistent cog in Brooklyn’s patchwork offensive machine. He’s been especially reliable down the stretch of games whether it be hitting a momentum-building three or slithering through the lane for a tough layup.
Looking at Harris’s clutch time performance stats, it shows he’s shooting at almost ungodly percentages. Within the final three minutes, he’s hitting 75% of his shots from deep. Within the final five minutes, he shoots it at 85.7% from beyond the arc.
In the following example from the Nets win over the Pelicans, Harris catches the ball in the corner after a brilliantly designed play by Kenny Atkinson. The dynamic duo works in unison here as Harris screens for Dinwiddie before the point guard quickly stops and sets a pick for his running mate. This frees Harris up enough to run around the Jarrett Allen screen for an open look.
You can hear the dejection in the Pelicans announcer’s voice. He knew, much like Thanos, a Harris three from the corner is inevitable.
Interestingly enough, these three-point shooting numbers are higher than his overall shooting percentages within three and five minutes. But that’s not to say he can’t execute a clutch-time bucket inside the three-point line. This was evident in Brooklyn’s win over the Hawks this past Saturday.
With the Nets clinging to a three-point lead, Harris snags the clutch steal and takes it coast-to-coast for the layup. He contorted his body after contact to initiate the three-point play.
JO-EY BU-CKETS pic.twitter.com/Mbr7L7TXGT
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 22, 2019
Ready for another example of this dynamic duo working together in the clutch? Let’s throw it back to late November when the Nets were up by two against the Knicks with just under one second left.
Dinwiddie goes to Atkinson and suggests a play that Harris executes perfectly by throwing the ball off the back of Wayne Ellington, which results in time expiring. Dinwiddie then greets Harris with an emphatic high five. Something the kids on Twitter would deem “quality content.”
— Nets Nation (@NetsNationCP) November 25, 2019
Let’s emphasize Harris’s impact as a wingman one more time. Toward the end of the Hawks game, Harris was fouled with less than 20 seconds left, but tried to convince the officials that Dinwiddie, who was one point away from 40, was the one who was fouled. The 40 points would’ve been Spencer’s second 40-point performance in as many games.
Joe failed in his attempt, but it just reinforces the good vibes going on between Dinwiddie and Harris.
Don’t expect this writer to come up with a Marvel comparison for everyone on the Nets this season. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the duo of Dinwiddie and Harris is one that rivals Iron Man and War Machine.