With a loss to the Phoenix Suns by a score of 104-96 on Sunday night, the Orlando Magic dropped to paltry 4-9 on the 2013-14 NBA season. As expected, this has been a young team that has shown flashes of quality and exciting play, but that isn’t ready for any kind of notable success.
However, they could be due for more success as the season progresses as Sunday marked the return of a key cog for their team this season. Tobias Harris, who missed the first 12 games of the season with an ankle sprain, made his debut this season for the Magic, a long awaited return to action considering what he did for Orlando last season.
Harris came to Orlando as part of the J.J. Redick deal at the NBA Trade Deadline last season and made his impact greatly felt with the Magic. In 27 games with Orlando last season, Harris averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.4 blocks in 36.1 minutes per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, though hitting on only 31 percent of his three-point attempts.
In his return to action, Harris was limited as the Magic play it safe and try to ease him back into the rotation. He played only 16 minutes and notched just six points and one rebound while shooting 3-8 from the floor and 0-3 from three.
Harris, who is amazingly just 21 years old and entering his third season in the Association, is a unique forward that can effectively play at both the three and four. He has the length, quickness and strength to succeed in the paint, but can also work well out of position on the perimeter. Pairing a player with his skill level and talents with the rest of this young Magic team is going to be exciting to watch. This Magic team still probably isn’t going to be sniffing the postseason, but I’d expect them to be one of the more impressive teams in the lottery this season with Harris and company, for whatever that’s worth.