Bulls Season Rewind 18-19: Shaquille Harrison
Second-year guard Shaquille Harrison was a new face for the Bulls this season. After being waived by the Suns on October 15 after one season in Phoenix, the Bulls picked up Harrison to help shore up their bench. The former Tulsa guard was a pleasant surprise this season for Bulls fans, with his defensive intensity and hustle endearing him to Chicago fans who have always appreciated a player who gives it his all. Opposing guards did not like to see Harrison match up with them, as they knew Harrison would be giving them hell for the length of the court.
Harrison demonstrated a real nose for the ball on defense, averaging 1.2 steals per game and finishing 3rd in the entire league in steals per 48 minutes. Though his statistics won’t wow anybody, Harrison made an impact every time he stepped onto the floor and always gave his best. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest games from the young, formerly undrafted guard:
March 20, vs Wizards (Bulls 126, Washington 120 OT)
Harrison Stat Line: 18 points (7-13 FGs), 1-1 3PT, 6 rebounds, 4 steals
In an overtime win against a Wizards team still fighting for the playoffs (and sporting two familiar faces in Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis), every play counted. Harrison made them on both ends of the court. Not known as a scorer, he poured in 18 points (just three off his career high) but more importantly came up big on the defensive end, with 4 steals and some strong defense on All-Star Bradley Beal, particularly down the stretch. The Bulls won this game by holding the Wizards to without a field goal in overtime – and guess who was on the floor for the entire OT period? Guess who held Beal to 4 of 13 shooting in the second quarter and overtime combined? That’s right – Shaq Harrison.
April 3, at Wizards (Bulls 115, Washington 114)
Harrison Stat Line: 15 points (7-13 FGs), 1-2 3PT, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 1 assist
It was something about the Wizards this year. Playing on the road with an injury-decimated team, the Bulls pulled out a one-point thriller behind huge efforts from Harrison and Windy City Bulls call-ups Walt Lemon Jr. and JaKarr Sampson. Harrison was all over the floor defensively, including coming up with a block with 14 seconds left in a one point game. Prior to that, Harrison had flashed his offensive potential, hitting a crucial 4th-quarter three pointer as part of a one-man scoring flurry of seven straight points. As usual, Harrison was there to give maximum effort.