Bulls 2019-2020 Season Recap: Shaquille Harrison
Harrison put together some of his best games of the season just before the NBA hiatus.
Remind Me Later •
Bulls Season Highlights: Shaquille Harrison
|Season||Games Played||Minutes Per Game||Points||Steals||FG%|
*65 game season
Just before the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shaq Harrison was beginning to find his groove. His minutes were limited for most of the first-half of the season but Harrison got his opportunity for significant playing time when he was inserted back into the starting lineup in late February. He began to thrive in early March, putting together back-to-back performances where he went 8-for-9 in two games combined from behind the arc and was active on both ends of the floor.
Harrison has always been athletic, going back to his high school days in Missouri where he was a first-team all-state wide receiver and even committed to playing football at Kansas for a period of time. That athleticism is evident when Harrison is on the floor. Late in the season he was often the Bulls’ best perimeter defender on the floor, stepping up after Kris Dunn was sidelined due to a sprained MCL. Harrison’s energy allows him to be a pesky on-ball defender while reading offenses to make opportune steals leading to transition plays. Off the ball defensively, he has an awareness for reading passing lanes to come up with deflections and cause chaos for the opponent.
In the final six games of the Bulls season in which Harrison started, he averaged 10.5 points on 50% shooting from the field (and 64% from distance) with 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks. Consistency and continuing to improve his shooting will be key for Harrison in his career while maintaining his tenacity on the defensive end. If Harrison can carry the momentum from the end of his 19-20 season into the start of this upcoming season, he can be poised for a career year.
Let's take a look at a few of Harrison's standout performances this season:
NOVEMBER 20, 2019 VS DETROIT (BULLS 109, PISTONS 89)
Harrison Stat Line: 15 points (7-12 FG), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
The Bulls had one of their best all-around performances of the season as Chicago had five players in double-figures, hit 14 threes (with 27 attempts), and limited their opponent to under 90 points (one of two times the Bulls accomplished that this season). Harrison’s presence was felt throughout the night: he knocked down open shots, crash the boards, set up his teammates for open threes with his drive-and-kick ability, and he was active on defense to the tune of three steals. On perhaps the play of the night, Harrison got the ball in transition with no one in front of him and dazzled the United Center crowd with a double-pump reverse dunk that forced Detroit to take a timeout. While Shaq isn’t necessarily known as a scorer, his athleticism and activity on defense were on display in this one.
MARCH 4, 2020 AT MINNESOTA (TIMBERWOLVES 115, BULLS 108)
Harrison Stat Line: 17 points (5-8 FG, 3-3 3PT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Starting his third straight game in place for an injured Kris Dunn, Shaq stepped up offensively to also help fill the void for an injured Zach LaVine. Despite those injuries, the Bulls were in the early stages of working back in Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. as they were playing their third and second games back from injury respectively. Harrison had 17 points on only eight shot attempts, helped by his ability to draw fouls and get to the charity stripe (finished 4-6 from the line). He hit all three of his attempts from deep as he took what the defense gave him. The Bulls used a 9-0 run in the final minute of the game to fight back, but it was a little too late.
MARCH 6, 2020 VS INDIANA (PACERS 108, BULLS 102)
Harrison Stat Line: 25 points (9-14 FG, 5-6 3PT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Two days after his solid performance at Minnesota, Shaq followed it up with arguably the best game of his career. With Zach LaVine out nursing a left-quad injury, Harrison scored 25 points with five three-pointers (both career-highs) and stuffed the stat sheet. The Bulls trailed by 23 in the third quarter but four triples by second Harrison in the second-half helped bring the margin to single digits. It ultimately wasn’t enough as the Pacers won by 8, but Harrison continued to show what he’s capable of.