Harrison Barnes Wins NBA Title


Harrison Barnes won an NBA title last night. That fact from Golden State’s Game 6 105-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavs will likely be overlooked. There will be a lot of talk of the marathon man effort by LeBron James to prevent the inevitable with triple-double after triple-double. There will be a lot of attention given to Davidson’s Stephen Curry, who cemented superstar status by winning a title. There will even be more attention given to Series MVP Andre Iguodala, who was elevated into the starting lineup in mid-series.

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Barnes will most likely get overlooked, and he was just a cog in the machine. His numbers for the playoffs were role player numbers. Barnes averaged around ten points and five rebounds for the entire playoffs. His lack of impact on JR Smith was shown when he was lumped into the category of non-shooters.

That was silly then, and it should seem more silly now. The smaller lineup of the Warriors caused spacing nightmares, and Barnes was part of that. Curry was up and down during the series, although he did find himself during it. Klay Thompson was less dangerous than he had been all season. That meant there were shots for guys like Barnes and Iguodala, and they took advantage of them.

Barnes will probably be remembered most for two dunks that he scored in game five. There he dunked on Cavs center Timofey Mozgov, no easy task. Later he dunked on James. Both plays were high energy plays that demonstrated the confidence that Barnes was playing with.

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That was perhaps the biggest gain for Barnes in the series. He has won the title and he knows he can play with the best in the League. That should make him a better player in the years to come. During his time at Chapel Hill, Barnes sometimes seemed unwilling to impose himself. Barnes is only twenty two. There is a good chance the best is yet to come for him.