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Tobias Harris and JJ Redick make their debut appearance against their former teams Sunday afternoon, as the lottery-bound Orlando Magic face the playoff-bound Milwaukee Bucks for the first time since the Trading Deadline.
Magic update. Orlando and Milwaukee will face each other for the first time since their deadline exchange of age for experience. Both teams have solidified fates, with the Bucks firmly entrenched in the Eastern Conference playoffs and the Magic headed for one of the top spots in the 2013 NBA Lottery. Roles of prominence for Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless, and Andrew Nicholson over the last 11 games have improved the Magic's offense (97.5 ppg vs. 94.4 ppg season avg.) at great expense to their defense (107.4 ppg vs. 100.3 ppg). That's kind of what you expect when games become formalities.
The Return of the Harris. Tobias Harris is currently averaging 15.9 ppg, 49.6% fg, 40.6% 3fg, 7.3 rpg, and 1.2 bpg playing most of his minutes at power forward. Over the Magic's last five games, Harris' shooting (especially at the rim) has fallen back to earth (14.8 ppg, 39.4% fg), but increased time at the four has subsequently helped his rebounding (8.6 rpg). Given all the discussion and dissection about Harris' three-week coming out party, I'm guessing he'll get a decent welcome back to the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The LARRY SANDERS Show. The first trio of sarcastic post-ejection thumbs up were great. The second trio, appearing late in the fourth quarter of Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, were embarrassing. Larry Sanders is the cornerstone of a Bucks' defense that is everything but when he's on the sidelines. Sanders is entering DeMarcus Cousins territory with ejections and technical fouls, and nothing good (for the team or otherwise, long and short term) comes from consistently badgering refs. It's amazing how quickly parts of Sanders' game have matured, while others languish behind. That's as encouraging to Sanders' potential as it is dangerous to his long-term reputation.
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