The Orlando Magic obviously liked what they saw out of Tobias Harris during the second half of the 2012-13 season. During the summer, the key project for the Magic coaches will be getting Harris to play better defense.
That’s no surprise considering it will be the main goal for the Magic to get better defense out of everybody next NBA season. The draft might focus on the team trying to get someone to help their defensive needs as well.
Harris was more than willing to help out the Magic offensively, and now he needs to turn the tables defensively. To become a complete player, Harris has to become more of a thorn in the side of opposing offenses.
Harris averaged 11.4 minutes, 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds a game for the Milwaukee Bucks last year in his rookie season. In his first 28 games with the Bucks, Harris started 14 times and averaged 11.6 minutes, 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds. He came to the Magic for the final 27 games, started 20 and averaged 36.1 minutes, 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
He had an incredible last five games of the season including point totals of 26 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and 30 against his former Milwaukee team. The game against the Bucks brought out the best in Harris with 45 minutes, 13-of-20 shooting from the floor, 3-of-4 from the 3-point arc, five assists and 19 rebounds.
It’s obvious the trade to the Magic was beneficial for both the team and Harris. But if he gets his defensive game to improve, it’s going to be an even more impressive transaction.