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Season in Review: Like a good neighbor, Andrew Harrison was there

A new and improved version!

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Check out previous entries in our Season in Review series here.

Andrew Harrison 2017-18 Season Stats

Points Rebounds Assists Steals Field Goal % 3 Pt % Free Throw % PER
Points Rebounds Assists Steals Field Goal % 3 Pt % Free Throw % PER
9.5 2.3 3.2 0.7 42.2% 33.1% 78% 12.7

Coming into this season, Andrew Harrison was known among Grizzlies fans for several things: Being a Kentucky Wildcat, having a twin brother, Aaron, who currently plays for the Mavericks and for this crazy chase-down block in last year’s playoffs.

He has also been known for frustrating Grizzlies fans with his underwhelming play last year and earlier this season. At the beginning of this campaign there was speculation that between himself, Mario Chalmers and Wade Baldwin IV, he would be the odd man out and most likely to lose his job. But Baldwin was cut and after Mike Conley’s injury, Harrison found himself with a larger role than ever before.

Conley’s absence and Tyreke Evans’ move to point guard/point forward opened up a lot of minutes for Harrison to play at the two guard position and also to be a primary ball-handler if Evans wasn’t on the floor, and Harrison showed real growth as the season progressed. His field goal percentage was up to 42.2% this year from 32.5% last year, and he shot the ball from three at a respectable clip of 33.1%, up from 27.6% from 2016-17.

The Best

Harrison’s best this season was a month of stellar play. When February came around, Harrison took his game to another level than he had previously shown. He started all ten games in the month, averaging 15.6 points, 3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in those games. He had great numbers across the board and it provided a glimpse at the talent that Harrison displayed at Kentucky and the talent he sill has. Harrison may not average numbers like this next season when Conley returns and if we somehow manage to keep Tyreke, but it’s been great to see Harrison make the most of the opportunities he’s been given and he definitely has a future as Memphis’ backup point guard.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Worst

For his worst, we turn to a game on November 20th against the Portland Trail Blazers. Harrison only played three minutes in this game (season-low) and was 0-3 shooting, in which all three shots were ugly, ill-advised three pointers. I covered this game and when watching this I couldn’t believe that we cut Baldwin for this guy. He was clearly only looking for his shot and not trying to help his team win. It was quintessential Harrison from last year and here’s hoping that we don’t see any more of this guy in the coming years.

Ways to Improve

While Harrison did show real growth this season, he can definitely still improve. One way he can do that is by learning to take better advantage of his physical gifts. He has great size for a guard standing at 6’6 with great size. He as already shown he is a competent defender and utilizing his physical ability on the offensive side would represent a big step forward for him. He can bully his way past most other point guards and even some smaller shooting guards as well. He has shown the ability to play as a combo guard, often times playing shooting guard when he shared the court with Tyreke Evans and understanding how to leverage his physical advantages over smaller or weaker players will help him improve his overall game.

Overall Grade

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The Andrew we saw this year definitely improved as the season progressed and was much better than the guy we saw last year. He was a more efficient shooter, a better playmaker and a better defender. No one expected him to replace Mike Conley as the point man, but I think a lot of people were encouraged by what they saw from him this season. His improvement helped take some off the pressure off Gasol and Evans and hopefully next year he can be a better backup when Mike Conley returns.

He has a lot of room to grow but the steps he took this year were hopefully a good sign of whats to come

GRADE: C+

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