Tobias Harris is a second year NBA player (the 19th pick in the 2011-’12 draft) who was recently dealt in the J.J. Redick-to-Milwaukee trade on February 21. To most, he was a throw in. Redick was clearly the best player in the deal (and dealt at the deadline)…
Because the former Milwaukee benchwarmer is finally getting his chance. The chance that many overlooked NBA players before him have longed for (see Jeremy Lin), and is making the most of his opportunity in Orlando.
Yes, Tobias, it’s finally game day.
At 6’8″, 226 pounds, Harris is the prototypical NBA forward. He has the game of a small forward with the size to slide down low and play power forward if necessary. His shooting range and ball-handling ability can cause serious matchup problems when he’s playing against other bigs. He’s the new NBA, and a player teams will begin to covet.
Looking at Harris’ stats to this point in his young NBA career won’t do him justice.
Or will it?
With Milwaukee he averaged just five points per game, but only in minimal playing time (you’ll see a lot of DNP – Coaches Decision in his box scores).
On a depleted Orlando team Harris has gotten his chance to play, and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s averaging 16.7 points and 6.3 rebounds on an outstanding 57 percent shooting. He’s now playing just under 29 minutes a game and if not for a questionable charging call, may have made the game-winning play against the Miami Heat earlier this week to end their 16-game win-streak.
The Magic aren’t the most desirable team to watch today, but with a nice core of young talent surrounding Harris, they just might be sooner than you think.
Ben Baroff is a sports journalist and marketing professional who blogs and writes columns for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.