Manny Harris Preseason NBA Update

Dylan Burkhardt


Manny Harris is gradually making his presence felt in Cleveland. Harris did not play in the Cavs first preseason game and played just 6 minutes in their second. But over the last two games, Harris earned some playing time and made the most of it. First, in a win over Houston, Harris had 14 points on 4-8 shooting, 3 rebounds, two assists, and three steals in 24 minutes – the Cavs outscored the Rockets by 17 points with Harris on the floor. Last night, in another win over the Mavs, he had 14 points on 4-5 shooting, 4 rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 24 minutes.

Cavs head coach Byron Scott sounds impressed:

“Manny has a lot of upside,” Scott said. “He just turned 21 years old a couple of weeks ago. At 6-4, 6-5 he’s very athletic, a very good defender, hounds the ball pretty well, makes pretty good decisions.”

“I thought for him having a chance [in Houston] to play and to play the way he did was a little surprising,” Scott said. “I thought it would be a little more of the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome. But I thought he was pretty good, made some big free throws at the end, made some big shots at the end.

More from Dallas:

“He did a heck of a job and made some plays for us down the stretch and did a really good job defensively of just locking people down and doing some things that we’ve talked about doing, getting some big time steals, and just very active and aggressive on that end of the court which I think is the thing that is really helping.”

I had the chance to watch the Mavs game on NBATV and not only did Harris produce on the stat-sheet, he looked really good. There were a few rookie moments but Harris was extremely active, shot the ball well, and didn’t force the issue – often times setting up teammates for easy buckets.

It was impressive to see Harris, never the model of efficiency at Michigan, score 14 points on just 5 field goal attempts. Even more impressive was his smooth jump-shot, even from NBA three point range. Strength wise, I was surprised how small he looked on the court. His size means he’ll have to continue to improve he ball handling, and the Cavs did play him at the one for short stretches.

Harris seems to be a natural fit for Byron Scott’s offense, which incorporates similar two-guard principles and concepts used in John Beilein’s offense. Harris continues to play his aggressive high-risk high-reward style of defense but that is a better fit in the NBA where short possessions reign supreme.

Harris is staying humble:

“It definitely helped my confidence even though it’s preseason and some of their best players don’t play the whole game. But it boosts the confidence a lot, and we still got the win, so that’s key.”

At the end of the day, Harris looked very good, good enough to warrant a spot on the Cavs (relatively depleted) roster. With four preseason games remaining, Manny is in a good position but still has his share of proving to do over the next week. Coming into camp, the word was that he would have to beat out Danny Green for a roster spot. Green was 2-10 in his first two contests and hasn’t played in the previous two games, which certainly bodes well for Manny’s chances. Various members of the national and local media agree.

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  • AG2

    Its great to see Manny has a good shot at making the team. Michigan could definitely benefit from having more players in the league.

  • zoombootick!

    Dylan where’s my thank you ? it appeared nobody even cared until I mentioned it . Anyway , congrats Manny .

  • detroitbry

    I knew he had a chance to be a pro, as he gets stronger his game will expand. I wonder if he gets back to his defensive roots.

  • His defensive roots?

  • Word was that he was a defensive ball hawk in High School, and would absolutely hound people.

    I would say he was even decent at it his frosh and soph years at UM, but man, did he have some atrocious defensive games his junior year where he just seemed to zone out on that end of the court(Northwestern game with Drew Crawford embarrassing him comes to mind).

    Glad to see him stepping up, he’ll need to do it on both ends of the court if he wants to stick in the league.

  • I’ve watched Manny play since high school and he’ll always get his steals but he’s also always played a kind of cheating, always go for the steal, sort of defense. It was exposed during his junior year at U-M, but the one thing he was always (until the last few months of his jr year) was a great defensive rebounder.

    He has the athletic ability to make some things happen defensively, and he was very active. I think his style of defense is a good fit for the NBA, especially if he’s used in small dosages — allowing him to be that spark off the bench.

  • Great spot for Manny. Cleveland is definitely looking for guys who can play and develop during what inevitably will be a rebuilding period. The more Big Ten players in the NBA, the better for all, I say. I hope he sticks.

  • AG2

    So, would this count as Beilein getting a player into the NBA, or are people going to say Manny made it despite Beilein like Joe Alexander and Da’Sean Butler.

  • Section13Row15

    Defense to me is pure effort and also having quick feet. I don’t think Manny was 100% last year which hampered his defensive play. He will definitely have a role in the NBA.

  • fresh

    most likely people will say beilein had nothing to do with it………already on this site in one of these comment sections somebody who is a michigan fan was saying that beilein was holding manny back………its amazing

  • fresh

    also markus crider committed to providense according to espn

  • Mith


  • Bigfoot


  • fresh

    yeah i think the s looks better

  • ummapinnna

    Yeh I said that. … But I meant it a different way . Manny ain’t no system player point period . Manny should’ve never. Had to play small forward . He is a shooting. Guard slash pg when. Needed .

    The amazing thing is how so many people who were saying Manny made a mistake and that he isn’t good enough for the league are now changing tune .

    Manny did this program justice . But it is funny that noone even mentioned how good he played until I did so . They deleted my post on the wolverine .com defending Manny and putting up his stats , when a certain poster was saying Manny ” Medoicre ” at best .

    So now it’s a I love Manny fest now that he proven some wrong ? Yeh I know I’m going to banned here to for my support of the program , but it’s crazy to see how things evolve so quickly .

    One min, he not good enough and noone even wish the kid good luck . Now it’s a I love manny lovefest .

    Not a single person even check his stats or even check for him on the Cleveland roster because they thoughthewasn’t going to make the roster anyway.

    That’s the mentality of some UM fans .

  • ryan

    He’s out to prove something. I say he latches on and gets some good D-league time. Once he fine tunes his jump shot he’s got all the athleticism and talent to stick in the league for awhile. Benn thinking that for about 4 years now

  • Jimmy

    ummapinna, I can’t speak for EVERYONE but I think that most, if not all, Michigan fans appreciate Manny Harris for everything he did for the program. It is safe to say that Manny and Peedi carried our team over the past three years.

    I don’t think anyone questioned whether or not he is good enough, and I think everyone wished him good luck. He’s a Michigan man. Some fans might have been disappointed that he left because they felt he could improve. Others might have wanted him to stay because they felt he was our only hope at success next year. But I think everyone could see WHY he left. There wasn’t going to be much of a supporting cast for Manny his year and his stock wouldn’t have improved much.

    I always knew Manny was good enough. And yes, I’ve been checking up on him all summer (since the Chicago pre-draft camp, and throughout his injury plagued Summer League with the Cavs). I only questioned whether or not he would find the right opportunity. The NBA is filled with talented players. I’m thrilled to see that he might have found a place where he can stick and succeed.

  • AG2

    CJ Lee just told me that “Rick Snyder is our ONE chance for Jobs.”

  • georgeesq.

    Not a good idea to put political comments on here.

  • Get your elbow in!!

  • FWIW… CJ Lee is working with Rick Snyder. However, let’s not turn this into a political forum by any means.

    Also, elbow jokes? Figured we were past that. Do you make the same jokes about Kalin Lucas?

  • Don’t confuse facts with jokes.

    According to Synergy Sports, as of February last season Manny was making 31 percent of his jumpers, and 58 percent of all his shots were jumpers. Goes a long way towards explaining why he wasn’t drafted.

    Kalin Lucas made 42 percent of his jumpshots last season — playing point guard.

    I wish both Michigan natives well in their NBA ambitions.

  • Ahhh. Wasn’t even thinking shooting (long day) thought it was in regards to the Purdue elbowing incident. Been a long day, wasn’t even thinking about the photo at the top of the page :-)

    BTW, where did you find Synergy Sports college data?

  • JRose

    As always, love the hard word Dylan and crew! I was just talking to a buddy of mine who knows a few people at IU and he said that Zeller is a lock for IU at this point. I know we were out of the running, but I just thought I’d share that update. Any word on the injuries to our guys?

  • Media day is today. I assume we’ll get some injury updates there.

  • Some advice, Ummapinna (because we can see you know a little bit about hoop): if you get on and just rant, and at everybody–every time you visit–you will not likely find a welcome here. Your current post accuses everyone but you of downplaying Manny’s talent. Unless you have a history here as a lurker, how could you possibly even know this?

    There are always some people who rag on the team’s stars when the team does poorly. But a lot of us were huge fans of Manny’s going back four years and more. A lot of the naysayers ARE being proven wrong, but if you post just to say that you were the only one who understood, how is that likely to go over? This has been an incredibly cool, very small community up to now–join in as an equal, take your time and think through your posts. Then we can actually have a conversation.