OAKLAND – One game. Just one. That’s all that’s left of the season for the Warriors, and it’s all they’re asking of Harrison Barnes.
Coach Steve Kerr and members of his staff have talked with the struggling forward and their efforts thus far have been in vain. They hope their support pays off Sunday night in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers.
“The conversation is just coaching,” Kerr said Sunday when asked about Barnes. “That’s kind of my job, to coach our guys individually, coach them as a team. So there are conversations.”
Barnes in this series has had opportunities, failing in nearly all of them. He’s leading the Warriors in open looks and, among those averaging at least five minutes per game, last in shooting percentage at 36.1 percent. He’s shooting around 30 percent on open 3-point attempts.
Acutely aware of his struggles, Barnes went to the team facility Friday night to put up extra shots. He did the same during practice Saturday. He’s searching and says he will continue to believe his shots will fall.
“Just shut up, shoot, don’t think about it,” Barnes said Saturday. “I can’t say my shot selection has been the issue the last couple games. Obviously, missed a few wide-open shots. So I’m just going to step into them and continue to take them.”
Barnes missed 20 of 22 shots in Games 5 and 6, both Warriors losses. Another such game would leave the Warriors vulnerable.
“The biggest thing is to realize in the playoffs, and especially The Finals, the spotlight is big and there are moments for everybody where things don’t go great and you have to fight through that. And just be solid.
“Go out there and play your game. Be aggressive. And whatever happens, happens.”