Player Review: David Harrison
Stats: 4.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.3 apg
Stats/36: 11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.6 apg
How did he surprise?
David Harrsion entered the 2007-08 season knowing this was his last chance to impress the Indiana Pacers. Time for his potential to show some progress in hopes of earning that golden, second NBA contract. I'm sure he'd be the first to admit, things didn't play out the way he had hoped this year.
Even before Jermaine O'Neal's knee problems were public knowledge, there was hope that Harrison's game would develop to the point where he could be relied upon to bring energy, interior defense and easy buckets around the hoop. Reliability is the key, because DH has shown he can bring those assets to the floor. There were times he was a menace at the defensive end, rejecting multiple shots with his quick hops.
In fact, if you could youtube Harrison's top 20 possessions at either end of the floor this year, you'd see the type of player any team would salivate over. Think Anderson Varejao at 7 foot, 280, with a little more offense and a lot less hair flopping. David could really contribute in a defined role off the bench if he could just put everything together consistently. Unfortunately, too many nights he left those positive assets on the bench.
How did he disappoint?
Every night David didn't bring the aforementioned surprising production was disappointing. Looking at his Per 36 stats, the numbers have remained flat (in fact, slightly declined) over his four years with the Pacers. An area that has always hampered David, is his propensity to pick up fouls, often in bunches. While he did play solid stretches this year without running into foul problems, the fouls did ruin his play at times. The calls can really mess with David's concentration on the task at hand and once that happens he might as well just sit down because his game shuts down.
Obvisouly, the other disappointment was David's surprise suspension for violating the league's drug policy. His subsequent discussions about the suspension with the media were genuine and heartfelt, but didn't exactly "clear the air" or garner any public support.
Let's cut to the chase. Harrison's future with the Indiana Pacers is not bright. While he is not a bad guy, David is complicated to say the least. With a focus on public image combined with a desire for consistent effort and production from their players, I would be shocked if the Pacers decide to exercise their option and bring David back for a year. If that's the case, I hope DH finds an opportunity for a fresh start with another team AND takes advantage of it.