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Harris Out vs. Spurs
Wednesday, Feb. 10
How Harris' Absence Impacts Magic
This could be a difficult setback for the Magic since Harris is one of the most underrated players in the league.
Orlando doesn’t get much national attention, but Harris managed to post 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season while carrying his team for long stretches. He is averaging 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest this season.
He can shoot from behind the three-point line and is versatile enough to attack the basket off the dribble. He can also beat smaller defenders down low at 6’9” or shoot over them.
The team will likely ask a number of youngsters to fill the void while Harris is out.
Aaron Gordon brings high upside in his second season in the league as a former No. 4 overall pick. At 6’9” with athleticism through the roof, the former Arizona Wildcats star can get out in transition, control the glass and finish at the rim with his impressive leaping ability.
The Magic could also become more perimeter-oriented and use Mario Hezonja, who was the No. 5 overall pick of the 2015 draft, and Evan Fournier, who was a first-rounder in 2012. They bring different skill sets to the table than Gordon and can drill three-pointers and stretch the defense. Ideally, Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo can force opposing defenses to collapse on their penetration, which would open space for shooters on the wing.