The rebuilding era is in full swing down in Orlando, as the post Dwight Howard era hasn’t brought the team too many victories in the past two seasons. The youth movement is sweeping the Magic, as they have the fourth youngest team in the NBA, and many of their key starters are in the early stages of their career. One of them is a former first-round pick, who after being less than impressive in a season and a half in Milwaukee was acquired by Orlando. Tobias Harris is that player, and after his first full season with the Magic, it’s time to take a deeper look at it.
2013-14 Season Stat Line:
14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1,3 assists, .464 FG%, .254 3PT%, .807 FT%, 16.54 PER
On a team where a role of small forward is a constant competition, Harris played pretty well in just more than 30 minutes per game. He was Orlando’s second-leading scorer behind Arron Afflalo, and was a decent rebounder for a small forward. You could argue that Harris wasn’t the most efficient shooter, but at the same time, no one on Orlando’s squad was overly efficient.
Tobias contributed 4.1 total win shares this past season. It’s nothing too impressive, but considering the Magic weren’t on the winning end of most of their games this season, its’ not that bad of a statistic.
Jan. 24, vs. Lakers (W 114-105) 28 points, 9-15, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, 9-11 free throws, 1 steal
Harris had several impressive games this season, some in which he scored more than 30 points, and plenty where he recorded double-digit rebounds. Against the Lakers on this night however, he did both, efficiently as well. He converted on nine of 11 trips to the line, and only missed six shots from the field. His 20 rebounds were a career high as Tobias led his Magic to a win over Los Angeles.
Jan. 6, at Clippers (L 81-101) 2 points, 1-9 shooting, 0-0 free throws, 5 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 blocks
Missing eight shots is pretty rough, especially when you only take nine. Five rebounds is lower than the average for him, and no blocks, steals, or assists made Harris one of the least productive players on the floor. A stat line like that against any team is disappointing, but even worse against the Clippers. Los Angeles didn’t exactly have the best forward rotation. Harris being a non-factor turned out of be a huge factor for Orlando, as they dropped one of many games on the season.
In his first full season with Orlando, Harris was one of the few steady things on the Magic’s otherwise inconsistent season. He came into the season as the season looking to solidify his role as the starting small forward, and it would seem like it’s all his now. It will be interesting come next season to see exactly how Tobias is used. Whether Orlando chooses to keep Arron Afflalo (constantly in the trade rumors) or how they draft at No. 4 and No. 12 could change the team drastically, and possible even cause a move to power forward for the 6’9″ Harris. At one point, he was just a minor part of a trade between Milwaukee and Orlando. Now, he could be the best player to come out of that deal.
Shawn McFarland covers the Orlando Magic for HoopsHabit.com