Memo to Joe Harris: The Nets need you.
So says coach Jacque Vaughn, who moved Harris to the bench and cut his minutes during the past two weeks.
Harris, who missed almost all of last season as he underwent two ankle surgeries, has been one of the league’s most accurate three-point shooters during his career but has struggled this season, entering Monday night having gone 3-for-22 from beyond the arc in his previous four games. He responded by scoring a season-high 17 points in a season-high 35:56 off the bench in the Nets’ 109-102 win over the Magic.
“The shots that he’s taken have all been good shots,” Vaughn said.
“That’s the great thing. I think everyone in this organization has a tremendous amount of respect and love for Joe Harris. At least I do. Totally believe in him. He’s an unbelievable person, teammate and shooter. And that ball is going to go in. It’s just a matter of time, really.
“Whether we reduce some of his minutes just to take some of the mental and physical load off him — we’ve had other guys step up, which has been great — but we need Joe Harris.
“We need him to relieve some of Royce O’Neale’s minutes. We need him to help us rebound. We need him to play more than the 12 minutes that he did the other day. He’s just too good of a human being, too good of a basketball player not to get there.”
Notes & quotes: Seth Curry, also coming back from an ankle injury, played in back-to-back games for the first time Monday night after scoring 29 points off the bench on Sunday night against Portland. He had three points against Orlando . . . Yuta Watanabe missed his fifth straight game Monday with a sore hamstring and will miss another Wednesday when the Nets host Washington. The Nets plan to get the hamstring re-imaged, Vaughn said, just to see how it compares with his last image.