The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday that Golden State Warriors rookie forward Harrison Barnes was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team.
A little more than a year ago, the Warriors drafted Barnes with the seventh pick, and he has showed flashes of brilliance during his first year in the pros. During the regular season, he averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 25.4 minutes per game.
In the postseason, Barnes is averaging 39.1 minutes per game, and naturally, he’s averaging 15.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. His increased usage is largely due to the fact that David Lee’s injury left a big void to fill. So, head coach Mark Jackson opted to utilize Barnes in the power forward position more frequently, and he’s responded well.
Among the other players selected to the first team were Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, the Rookie of the Year, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, New Orleans Hornets forward Anthony Davis and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters.
According to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, Barnes recieived 18 first-team votes and finished with the fewest points of the first team selectees, which is understandable. Barnes’ stats don’t jump off the paper. But part of that is due to the fact that he only played in about 25 minutes per game. A better barometer is his 36-minute numbers: 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds.