The Sacramento Kings’ young season has already brought fans some highs and lows. From their thrilling overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers to their crushing last-second loss against their rival Golden State Warriors, it’s been a roller coaster ride for Kings fans already. However, there has been one part of the Kings’ season that has not wavered and has been incredibly consistent. That’s been the play of their veteran starting forward, Harrison Barnes.
While Barnes is not one to say much, his performance has spoken volumes so far this season. After extending Barnes to a 3-year, $54 million contract this past summer, the organization showed the level of trust they have in him as a core piece of this contending roster. Barnes has proven his worth and value to this team with his highly consistent and efficient level of play to kickstart the season.
Throughout the first handful of games for the Kings this season, Barnes has continued to produce a consistent scoring output for one of the most explosive offenses in the league. So far, Barnes is averaging 15.6 points per game in roughly 33 minutes of action. He is also averaging 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 0.6 steals per game. His 15.6 points per game make him the team’s third-leading scorer, only behind their two All-NBA performers in De’Aaron Fox (31.3 PPG) and Domantas Sabonis (18 PPG).
Barnes’ biggest output thus far was during the Kings’ season opener against the Utah Jazz. In that game, Barnes erupted in the first half, scoring 27 points on nearly perfect shooting efficiency. That’s the most points he’s scored in any half in his career. He finished the game with 33 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists, contributing immensely to the Kings 130-114 victory.
Since joining the Kings in 2019, Barnes has averaged 15.6 points per game, consistently serving as one of their top scorers. His consistency and steady presence have been a great attribute to this team. Both his offensive and defensive production are dependable in most games, which is a very nice luxury for any team to have.
Highly Efficient Player
On top of the consistent contributions that Barnes has brought to the team, he has also done so with exceptional efficiency. Much like his even-keeled demeanor, Barnes’ play is rarely lackluster and very much under control a lot of times.
Barnes has been red-hot with his shooting efficiency to start the season. Through the first 5 games of this season, he’s averaging 56% shooting from the field, 54% from three, and 79% from the free throw line. Barnes has hovered around 40/40/80 shooting splits since joining the Kings. He has built a solid reputation as an efficient scoring wing in the league over his 11 NBA seasons. His start to this season has only augmented that reputation. While his free throw shooting would have to make a notable leap, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Barnes could have a borderline 50/40/90 season with the Kings.
To add to his efficient scoring, Barnes is also very efficient in other parts of his game. Barnes is averaging only 0.5 turnovers per game this season, doing an effective job at protecting the ball. Last season, Barnes ranked 15th in the league in turnover percentage at 8.1%. Barnes also does a great job staying out of foul trouble. This season he is averaging only 1 personal foul a game. He has never averaged over 1.3 fouls per game in a full season with the Kings.
Overall, Barnes is as efficient as they come in the NBA. On both sides of the floor, he does an exceptional job of being calculated and not committing many egregious mistakes. For a young team like the Kings, having a veteran like Barnes who plays with his level of efficiency is instrumental in their success moving forward.
Last Word on Harrison Barnes’ Consistency and Efficiency
While the 31-year-old Barnes may be in the latter half of his prime, his efficient level of play continues to be a big part of his game, and this Kings team. Barnes is a key cog of this team, as he showed last season in helping the Kings reach the playoffs for the first time in over 15 years. Barnes’s ability to stay healthy and consistently affect both sides of the floor is huge for Sacramento. His efficiency and veteran leadership are immensely valuable to the Kings’ success. While the Kings still have to work on getting over the hump come the playoffs, having a player like Barnes on their side can surely help them in reaching their ultimate goals.