Although he is obviously a very talented played, Orlando Magic forward Maurice Harkless hasn’t carved out a defined role in Orlando and has been in and out of the starting lineup. Now that he is entering his third season, Harkless needs to establish himself.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Harkless knows just how important this season is.
Harkless has spent a lot of time training, working with the elite trainers at IMG Academy in Bradenton, refining the mechanical parts of his game. He also spent some time with world renowned trainer Idan Ravin, who has worked with the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant.
The magnitude of the impending season is not lost on Harkless.
“It’s huge,” Harkless said to Basketball Insiders. “I mean, this is the year were I got to make a mark. This year pretty much determines what I am going to be in this league, I think. I think this is a huge year for me.”
Harkless averaged 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 46.4% from the field, 38.3% from beyond the arc and 59.4% from the free throw line. In his rookie year, he put up 8.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.7 assists per game but shot just 46.1% from the floor, 27.4% from three and 57.0% from the charity stripe.
Harkless played more as a rookie, making 59 starts and playing 26.0 minutes per game, than he did in his second NBA season, when he made 41 starts and played 24.4 minutes per games. However, Harkless’ improved three-point shooting combined with his length on defense could make him a valuable player.
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