Denton: Harkless Admires Afflalo's Work Ethic and Professionalism


Harkless stayed in Orlando most of the summer to work on his body and his skills in hopes of making a major strides in Year 2 of the NBA. Last season, as the fourth-youngest player in the NBA, Harkless seemed to make major leaps down the stretch and played with much more confidence. He scored 20 points four times, including a career-best 28 in Houston and 25 points against Durant and OKC.

He also reworked his shot over the summer in an attempt to make his release higher and quicker. He’s shot the ball well from the corner three at times and struggled at others. He’s shooting 43.2 percent overall and 35.7 percent from the 3-point line. As his minutes have shrunk, Harkless said that it’s been increasingly difficult to find a rhythm in the Magic offense.

``It’s different for me since I don’t have any plays called for me,’’ he said. ``I don’t get a great amount of touches, but when I do I just try to be aggressive with it. But sometimes it’s tough to get the ball and have to make your first shot. But that’s why I try to as much as I can defensively and let the offense come to me. … I feel like eventually my time will come, and I’ll someday have plays called for me. I’m just keeping faith in God and He will give it to me when He wants me to have it.’’

Said Vaughn about Harkless’ demeanor: ``He’s been good. I think the best thing is he and I have continued to communicate with one another and we’ve watched film with one another. He understands what’s important as it relates to being a part of a team. And he knows the importance of being dialed in whether you play one minute or 30 minutes.’’

As for Afflalo, Harkless knows that the Magic need his 21.6 points per game to steady their offense and the hope is that he will return in time for Saturday’s game. If Afflalo isn’t back, Harkless said the Magic have to sharpen their focus in order to generate enough offense to win. The Magic have scored just 83 and 82 points in the past two games.

``With Arron out we don’t have that guy that we can just go to on the perimeter. Arron has been very efficient for us this season,’’ he said.`` We have to get Nik (Vucevic) going early and get Glen (Davis) involved early and try to get easy shots. We have to move the ball a lot better and get better shots.’’


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