Michigan State Basketball: Gary Harris slowly becoming star in NBA playoffs

Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After missing time with an injury, former Michigan State basketball star Gary Harris is looking like a star in the NBA playoffs for the Nuggets.

Gary Harris had a healthy Michigan State career that was only supposed to last one season, but after a stellar freshman campaign, the former five-star decided to surprise fans with a return for a sophomore season and he helped lead the Spartans to the Elite Eight.

Harris always seemed to step up in big game situations and lead the Spartans to some big wins.

Right now, he’s doing just that at the NBA level for the Denver Nuggets. He missed some time with an injury and he has throughout his pro career, only playing more than 60 games in a regular season just twice in six years. His time away from the Nuggets didn’t exactly cause him to take a step back in production, however.

In fact, he’s been a star for the Nuggets in the bubble, returning just in time to help force a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Clippers.

Harris’ numbers have been on the decline since the 2017-18 season and that’s likely because of his injury issues but now that he’s healthy, we’re seeing exactly what he’s capable of.

Defense, strong shooting and leadership are what’s setting him apart and helping the Nuggets make a serious push at an NBA title. He’s averaging just 8.6 points per game but he dropped 16 points in a crucial Game 6 and he’s been playing some of the best defense of any perimeter player in the playoffs. He’s averaging 1.8 steals per game as well.

If Harris isn’t healthy, the Nuggets probably aren’t in the position they’re in to potentially upset the Clippers and move on to the Western Conference Finals.

Spartan fans, if you need your Gary Harris fix still, there’s time as he’s becoming a playoff star for one of the youngest, hottest teams in the league.

Next. 3 ways Mel Tucker can win fans over in year one. dark