Nets’ Steve Nash expects Joe Harris to snap out of shooting slump

June 16, 2021 | 11:22pm

A three-game shooting slump for Joe Harris feels like an eternity, as the NBA’s regular-season leader in 3-point percentage again was unable to rediscover his usually deft outside touch in the Nets’ comeback win over the Bucks in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Harris now has missed 16 of 20 attempts from long distance over the past three games, including a 1-for-7 showing from beyond the arc in the Nets’ 114-108 victory Tuesday night.

“Yeah, I would say he’s due,” Nets coach Steve Nash said Wednesday. “It’s interesting, maybe I should talk to him, but I have not.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Joe, so every time he shoots the ball I think it’s going in. it hasn’t changed in the last three games and it won’t change [Thursday] night [in Game 6 in Milwaukee].”

Joe Harris goes up for a layup during the Nets’ Game 5 win over the Bucks.
NBAE via Getty Images

Harris finished the regular season with a career-best 47.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range, marking the second time in the past three seasons he has won the league title in that category. He had connected on 51.0 percent (25-for-49) in the first seven games of this postseason, including 8-for-16 over the first two games of this series.

“We all go through stages where the ball doesn’t go in the basket and it happens,” Nash said. “But that doesn’t diminish my kind of respect and confidence in Joe at all.”

Nash said he doesn’t expect Kyrie Irving (sprained right ankle) to travel to Milwaukee for Game 6, saying he’ll “probably stay back to rehab.”

Nash added that the All-Star guard’s rehabilitation currently consists of “just off court” activity and “some manual therapy and modules. Just trying to get the swelling down, and to speed the recovery as quickly as possible.”

Kevin Durant played all 48 minutes and James Harden logged 46 in his return from a hamstring injury in Game 5, so Nash shortened his bench beyond Jeff Green (35 minutes) and Landry Shamet (28).

Mike James played barely three minutes and Nic Claxton only was on the court for 1:39, with neither scoring a point.