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Tobias Harris returns a bit rusty


Kim Klement/USA TODAY

Tobias Harris played in just his second game of the year Friday night against the Cavaliers.

Harris played in about 15 minutes and scored 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting. He added five rebounds and a 3-pointer, posting a -4 while he was in the game. 

"It was real disappointing [to come back and have to go out again] for me," Harris said. "But I keep my spirits high, I pray on it and I knew everything would work out for the best. I had my head in the right place and just did my rehab and focused on this time. It's great to be back on the floor."

All in all it was a decent return to the court after missing nine games with a high ankle sprain on his leg after perviously missing the beginning of the season with an ankle sprain suffered in training camp. It has been a start-and-stop season for Harris, who had hoped to make a big impact this season before injuries knocked him out.

Harris did about as well you could hope considering all the time he had missed. It took him a while to get his feet under him, but in the fourth quarter he seemed to find his rhythm.

Harris was 2 for 3 in the fourth quarter, making a difficult jumper from the elbow after being fouled. He followed that up with a great corner 3-pointer that gave the Magic a four-point lead.

Earlier, it definitely seemed like he was getting his feet wet. He may not have been getting his legs completely under him and getting the same kind of lift off his jumper. He needed to find his rhythm.

That is something that will come.

"Tobias played great tonight," Glen Davis said. "I was so happy for him. It's been a long road and the way he has been battling the ankle injury. HIs first game really back and really being effective, I want him to do really really well. The more practices we have, the more we get him in a rhythm."

Harris said after the game that his wind was fine and that his rhythm is going to come. The upcoming homestand will be important for him too because of all the practice time it will afford the team. That is a chance for Harris to work his way back into rhythm and back into the rotation.

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Magic fans have been waiting patiently for Harris to come back after he showed a lot of promise last year in averaging 17.3 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game in 27 appearances with the Magic after the February trade.

"It's good to see him back out there," Jacque Vaughn said after Friday's loss. "We got him a few minutes, got him up and down. He said he felt good. He'll continue to get more comfortable, rhythm-wise he'll continue to play with guys around him but it's really good to have him back out there."

What would happen with a full season? Magic fans did not get to know that because of the injuries this season.

Instead, the Magic had to wait a while and have to bring him back into the lineup on the fly. Harris will have to work slowly and make up for lost time while the season progresses. That includes getting back to the things he wanted to try to improve upon during the summer and his prepared move to small forward.

First things first. . . 

"To me it's just I have to do the little things," Harris said. "I just try to bring a lot of energy, help our teammates out on the floor, pick up our team energy and just try to make plays for everybody.

"It's going to take some time but at the same time tonight was a good step in the right direction for me getting back on the floor. I wish we would have won the game, but you live and you learn and we have to go into the next one and be ready.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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