Joe Harris has been showing ex-UVA teammate and newly-minted Brooklyn Nets teammate, Justin Anderson, the ropes.
Justin Anderson says ex-#UVA teammate Joe Harris has been helpful getting him up to speed with the #Nets. Plans to provide “junkyard dog” edge, defend as hard as he can, fight for a 2nd 10-day and just go from there. Not looking too far ahead.
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 6, 2020
What’s immediately noteworthy is Harris and Anderson’s history together. The pair were teammates at the University of Virginia for two seasons.
It’s apparent that the camaraderie formed in college has yet to deteriorate. Harris has been helping Anderson acclimate himself to his new surroundings.
Anderson’s electric play for the Toronto Raptors G-League affiliate, Raptors 905, put him on Brooklyn’s radar. In 13 appearances this season, he’s averaging 21.2 points and 6.9 rebounds on 48.4/34.3/76.2 splits.
His grit and intensity on the defensive end, paired with an ever-improving perimeter jump shot could ensure a stay beyond just 10 days.
Nevertheless, there is no guarantee for a second contract with the Nets. If Anderson truly brings a “junkyard dog” mentality, head coach Kenny Atkinson could want him to stick around. It also helps to have an old friend in Harris to guide him—making the transition less daunting.
The Nets haven’t had the presence of a player with Anderson’s aforementioned qualities since losing David Nwaba to a season-ending Achilles injury on Dec. 19. That’s not to say Anderson’s presence will immediately be synonymous with Nwaba’s, but that void has yet to be filled.
Anderson played his first game with the Nets on Monday, playing the final minute in a 12-point loss. Brooklyn hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. Opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.