A strange sight: Tobias Harris as a visitor to Amway Center

Apr 6, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) greets fans in the locker room tunnel against the Orlando Magic after a basketball game at Amway Center. The Pistons won 108-104. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) greets fans in the locker room tunnel against the Orlando Magic after a basketball game at Amway Center. The Pistons won 108-104. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Tobias Harris was known for his all-business approach throughout his time in Orlando. It was no different in his first visit to Amway Center.

108. 64. Final. 104. 38

Tobias Harris had something of a reputation of being all business when he was in Orlando. The first thing he did after signing his new contract with the Magic this summer was to get back into the gym and get back to work.

There was always a level of professionalism, preparation and seriousness that went into Harris. Something that was always surprising for someone who was 23 years old. His maturity was always impressive. His focus always trained on the task at hand.

No one would blame Tobias Harris for getting a little misty playing his first game back in Orlando after February’s trade. This was the place where he got his first big break and began building his career — earning his big salary and all the opportunities in front of him.

As Paul Porter introduced Harris across the public address system Wednesday night, fans cheered Harris. A recognition of the work he put in. Harris said it was nice — teammates suspected he might get booed for failing to live up to the lofty expectations of his salary and getting dumped after a little more than half a season — a show of respect for the work he had put in.

But that was not his main focus this evening. His Detroit Pistons are now one win away from clinching a spot in the Playoffs — Harris’ first career trip to the postseason.

He pushed aside any feelings of nostalgia to focus on the task at hand.

“Just to win,” Tobias Harris said before the game. “I don’t really get too much into the emotions. Basketball is a business, just like being traded is a business. At the same time, my whole standpoint and my focus is to win this game not because the team traded me but because we need this one. This is a big game for us.”

Harris scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, making five of his 11 shots and two of his three 3-pointers. He did a little bit of everything for the Pistons, driving and taking it to the basket off cuts and slashes, taking the ball in the mid post and isolating his defender and spotting up for 3-pointers.

In many ways, it was the realization of everything Harris could be as a player and what he did successfully in Orlando. He filled gaps still like he did in Orlando, but he was getting featured with the ball, working more pick and rolls and directing play.

Undoubtedly, Harris has seen his production tick up since the trade to Detroit. He is averaging 16.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game with the Pistons, posting a 53.0 percent effective field goal percentage as he gets better open looks with the attention Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson receive. His usage rate is up from 18.8 percent to 20.4 percent since the trade.

Orlando simply struggled to get him the ball effectively and Harris struggled to fit into this motion-based offense the Magic run. At least from a numbers standpoint.

“It seemed like Stan [Van Gundy] was taking care of him,” Aaron Gordon said before Wednesday’s game about Harris. “He was getting a lot of plays called for him. It looked like he was in a rhythm, he was in a flow and he looked like he was playing well with his teammates.”

Van Gundy said Harris has exceeded his expectations since coming over. Harris has been a big contributor for a team heading to the Playoffs.

There is definitely still an odd feeling to seeing Harris in another uniform. He even changed his look, adding a headband to his appearance. Gordon admitted playing against Harris was odd, but once the ball was tipped it was about just playing basketball.

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There still seems to be mutual respect and joy in each other’s success. Nikola Vucevic said he was happy for how Harris was playing and the opportunity in front of him. Harris too said he is following the Magic’s play.

But the main focus — no matter the circumstance — has been on the Playoffs and what the Pistons have to do. Detroit has given him something Orlando struggled to do — get in Playoff position.

Harris did not have time to think about the old friends he would see or the familiar surroundings. He only had the game in front of him and the stakes involved.

“For me, there is more at stake right now like getting to the playoffs,” Harris said. “The biggest thing for me is coming back into this locker room with these guys and really enjoying this victory and knowing we are one step closer.”

The Pistons pulled out the win. They were the ones to come out on top and get it. For Harris it was business as usual. Nothing special about it.