Player Capsules: Tobias Harris
By John Denton
April 24, 2013
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic’s run of six straight seasons in the playoffs is over, ending the Eastern Conference’s longest such streak. But not all is lost for a Magic franchise with a bright future.
The Magic have a history of success that says that the franchise will soon be back in the NBA’s postseason. In the past 20 years, the Magic have made the playoffs 14 times – the fifth most times of any NBA franchise.
And since the 1992-93 season, Orlando has had a .500-or-better record 16 times – also the fourth-best mark in the NBA over that time frame.
There are plenty of positives to come out of the 2012-13 season as the Magic have established a core of promising young players and they have a base of veterans expected to return next season.
Orlando also has secured the best odds at getting the top overall pick in the June 27 NBA Draft. The draft order will be determined in the May 21 NBA lottery, a process in which the Magic have a 25 percent chance of winning. The Magic have won the NBA’s top overall pick three times, and the last time they were in this situation they won the top pick and used it to select Dwight Howard in 2004.
Looking back on the 2012-13 season, we here at orlandomagic.com are going to spend the next two weeks breaking down each of the players currently on the roster. We’ll look at their stats, highs and lows from the season, a favorite moment and analyze their role for the future.
So without further ado, here is today’s Magic player capsule:
NAME: Tobias Harris
JERSEY NUMBER: 12
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-9, 226
NBA SEASONS: 2
2012-13 SEASON STATS (WITH MAGIC): 27 games, 17.3 ppg., 8.5 rpg., 2.1 apg., 45.3 percent FG, 31 percent 3-pt FG, 72.1 percent FT.
2012-13 SEASON HIGHS: 30 points (twice – latest April 10 vs. Bucks); 19 rebounds (April 10 vs. Bucks); 6 assists (March 27 vs. Bobcats); 3 steals (March 29 vs. Wizards); 3 blocks (six times – latest April 3 vs. Spurs); 45 minutes (four times – latest April 10 vs. Bucks).
FAVORITE MOMENT: Harris was especially excited to play his former team, the Milwaukee Bucks, on April 10, and it showed in his performance. Harris played only sparingly in Milwaukee for a season and a half, and the Bucks dealt him to Orlando on Feb. 21. Harris made the Bucks pay for trading him away by scoring 30 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. The thrilling 113-103 overtime victory was made possible when Harris drained a clutch 3-pointer in the final seconds as he was fouled by Marquis Daniels. He missed what could have been the winning free throw, but came back in overtime with two baskets to lift the Magic to the win. And Harris showed off some of his fiery competitiveness in the final seconds when he drove the length of the floor and dunked, even though Milwaukee had conceded the game.
OF NOTE: Harris proved himself to be an elite scorer following the trade to Orlando. After playing just 11.6 minutes a night for the Bucks, Harris took advantage of the opportunity being presented in Orlando and ran with it. He scored in double figures in 24 of his 27 games with the Magic and led the team in scoring 10 times. He had nine 20-point games and twice hit 30 points against Washington and Milwaukee. And though he was undersized, Harris proved he could play the power forward position some with his hustle and mucle. Nine times he had at least 10 rebounds and six times he blocked at least three shots.
FUTURE ROLE WITH THE MAGIC: Harris quickly established himself as one of the Magic’s building-block pieces after GM Rob Hennigan wisely traded for him in late February. Just 20 years old, he is very mature and poised and he quickly developed into one of the Magic’s emotional leaders. He can play both power forward slots, but is more ideally suited for small forward after getting overpowered some by bigger players late in the season. He struggled at times against elite defenders such as Josh Smith and Luol Deng, and must improve his ability to post up. It will also be interesting to see how Harris will mesh with veterans Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo and Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis when he isn’t always the top option offensively. But Harris is undoubtedly a big piece of the Magic’s bright future and figures to only get better next season because of the hard work he will put in over the summer. Harris said after the season that following his team goals, he hopes to someday become a NBA All-Star. If he makes as much progress from this season to next season as he did in 27 games with the Magic, there figures to be no reason why he can’t accomplish that goal in the near future.
Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
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