The Los Angeles Lakers had their behinds kicked up and down the court by the Clippers, leading head coach Byron Scott to fall back on one word, repeatedly: Soft. The Lakers will have to get back on their feet Friday when the Orlando Magic come to town. Orlando is a bottom-tier East team, but typically keeps games competitive.
Tobias Harris is the one to watch here, for various reasons. He's having a career year, putting up 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. He'll definitely be a hot free agent commodity, but his future ultimately rests in the Magic's hands. Harris will be a restricted free agent, which could turn into a long free agency process for both Orlando and Tobias.
There's also the matter of the report he'll get a "bonus" from Nike if he signs with a large market. Anyone know of a large market team that desperately needs a young, productive small forward? Get back to me. Keep in mind the Magic paid big money to keep Nikola Vucevic (four-year, $54 million extension) on board. It' d be akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat if the Lakers somehow pry Harris away from Orlando.
The Magic have one of the worst offenses in the NBA (averaging 98.9 points per 100 possessions), which is the kind of matchup the Lakers need after a brutal game against the Clippers. Ronnie Price should be back in action, and there's no indication Kobe Bryant will sit out for rest, so the L.A. should be as "full force" as possible right now.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT