Insider: T12 plays significant role for Orlando
In the last couple of games, Orlando has started two rookies (Maurice Harkless and Dequan Jones) and two one-year players (Nik Vucevic and Tobias Harris) and veteran point guard Beno Udrih.
Harkless, Nicholson and Vucevic have been in the locker room all season long but Harris and Udrih are two of the newest additions to the Magic’s roster.
Harris was part of a six-player trade, which included JJ Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith for the Bucks’ Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb. Since arriving in Orlando Feb. 21st Harris has shown a lot potential.
Harris’ bright spots have made it a little bit easier on the Magic fans that were upset over the Redick trade. Trading away the fan favorite can have its downfall with the fan base but acquiring a young talented player that fits into the Magic’s system can balance that out.
“I am blessed to be in this position and have this opportunity,” Harris said after his first game in Orlando back on Feb. 23rd.
Since then the young Magic player had taken his opportunity and ran with it.
In the 19 games the young 20-year-old has played with the Magic he has topped his career high points four times. As a Buck Harris set his career high points at 19. Just after six days after arriving in Orlando Harris brought his career points to 23. Just a few days later he reset that record at 27 points. This past Wednesday in Charlotte he upped it to 29 points. Friday night broke it again, and his current career high points stands at 30.
“When I was in Milwaukee I knew he had the potential and talent to be a great player. In Milwaukee I think they were just holding him back. They didn’t give him a real chance to show them what he can do,” Beno said.
It is no secret that Harris has quickly adjusted to Orlando’s system and is becoming one of the Magic’s key players.
Harris is currently averaging 33.8 minutes, 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 77.6 percent from the free throw line. Prior to his arrival in the sunshine state, the young 20-year-old was just averaging 4.9 points and two rebounds per game in the 11 minutes average he was given per game.
“I applaud him for coming in here and playing like that. I know it was hard for him in Milwaukee in the situation he was in. He came here and he had an opportunity and took advantage of it,” Kyle O’Quinn said.
Harris’ transition into the Magic’s system has been smooth and he is seems to be getting more comfortable as each game passes.
It will be fun to watch Harris mature and grow as a player in remaining games this season and see what he does next season.