• A role player the past two seasons on a Golden State team that won both an NBA title and 73 regular-season games, Harrison Barnes is now the featured player for a Dallas team stuck in the Western Conference basement.
“He wanted a situation where he could grow, where he would take on more responsibility and have to develop more skill and ability to create,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “So he has worked extremely hard. He’s a great a worker and one of our most important culture guys and he has done extremely well. There are very few I’ve enjoyed working with more than him because he’s so diligent and consistent with his work ethic.”
Sunday, the Wolves see Barnes and the Mavericks for the second time in six days. Barnes scored 30 points in a 101-92 loss at Target Center on Monday.
• Philadelphia coach Brett Brown remembers his team doing its due diligence on a UCLA guard named Zach LaVine in 2014 and saw everything everybody else did and he, too, wondered what if …
“You always wondered when was the bouncy athlete going to translate into something on an NBA stage who could get to the rim and could get this shot off,” Brown said. “He had a pretty jump shot. I don’t know if you remember Rex Chapman’s shooting, but he had that bounce. So now you see him come into the NBA, he’s got a bounce and Thibs [coach Tom Thibodeau] is turning those guys loose and letting them play and make mistakes and play together.
“His evolution with [Karl-Anthony] Towns and [Andrew] Wiggins is well on track.”