Orlando Magic Expecting Maurice Harkless To Produce Better Numbers

By John Raffel
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Maurice Harkless has had an up-and-down rookie season for the Orlando Magic, but Sunday’s NBA performance was definitely on the upside.

The Magic lost 115-109 to the playoff hungry Milwaukee Bucks, but it was an impressive performance for Orlando, which seems to be playing well lately, even in their losses.

The Magic at 18-49, may be flirting with a 60-loss season, but they’ve been putting in some strong performances against teams on the road.

Harkless put in a solid 43 minutes against the Bucks and shot 9-of-17 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the 3-point area while hitting 3-of-5 free throws. He wound up with 23 points and nine rebounds along with two steals and two blocked shots.

It marked Harkless’ third straight game in double figures as he tries to end his rookie season with impressive numbers. The Magic are giving Harkless a lot of minutes to prove his value to the team. His total average for the season is 22.5, but he’s had 15 straight games of getting playing minutes that top his season average.

It’s not easy for a rookie to play for a team that’s been struggling. The pressure is on the younger players more so if there are more experienced performers on the roster. On the other hand, players like Harkless are able to get a lot of playing minutes at an early age.

The more Harkless plays, the more he needs to deliver for the Magic. He’s been doing exactly that so far but needs to keep it up for the rest of the season.

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