Given Minutes In Orlando, Tobias Harris Is Thriving
Opportunity in the NBA, like in life, is everything. Anyone who makes the NBA can play, but timing and the needs of a team dictate whether a player will have the opportunity to contribute. A player can quickly find themselves out of their team's rotation and the league if their situation isn't ideal.
Tobias Harris was facing that reality.
While playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, Harris had not seen consistent minutes since November. He was out of the rotation and was seen as nothing more than a guy on the bench. There wasn't much of a fuss around his lack of minutes as his performance while he was playing was average at best.
Harris, however, just needed an opportunity to play and the Orlando Magic gave it to him. He has shown that he's a good young talent since arriving in Orlando. In fact, he's played so well that many have started to question why Bucks' coach Jim Boylan didn't use him more. It's a mistake that won't be repeated with Orlando. His new coaches and teammates love the contributions he's making and will continue to call his number.
"He’s fit in rather well and quickly," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He’s done a good job of grasping our concepts and implementing them in the games. I've said before that I don’t think he’s taking anything away from any on our team, he’s adding things. His competitiveness, practice habits and his competitive nature throughout the course of the game, he adds elements to the team that we didn't have before."
Harris has been quick to give his coaches and teammates credit for how well he's played. They've embraced and made his transition as comfortable as possible.
"I've benefited from the coaches and players really embracing me as a player," Harris said. "They've really brought me along the right way. I've trusted them with my game and knowing my ability out there on the floor. I give a lot of credit to the coaches and players around me."
It was unknown if he would be included in a trade or reinserted into the Bucks' rotation, but that didn't stop Harris from working on his game.
He put in early days and late nights in Milwaukee in the hopes that his coaches would give him a shot. That work has helped him fit right in with a Magic team that has asked him to do a lot in a short period of time. Harris welcomed his new role knowing it was his chance to show everyone that he's capable of contributing.
"I looked at the trade as an opportunity for me to get more playing time," Harris said." I work hard on my game and knew that I wanted to take the chance I'm getting to showcase what I've been working on."
The change of scenery has been a blessing for the 20-year-old forward.
He's gone from benchwarmer to trade throw-in and now he's widely seen as nice young piece with a lot of upside for the Magic. Needless to say he appreciates his new role.
"It's a great feeling and blessing to be in the position I'm in now," he said. "I never take it for granted because I know the situation from the other side where I wasn't playing much. I'm very thankful for this."