Maurice Harkless Unhappy With Lack of Playing Time

by January 03, 2013

Orlando Magic rookie Maurice Harkless is an unhappy young man these days, and with good reason: he’s been riding the pine the last two games. Per the Orlando Sentinel: “Harkless started 20 consecutive games before being benched, the move coinciding with the return of Hedo Turkoglu. When I asked Harkless what coach Jacque Vaughn told him, Harkless said, tersely, ‘Nothing.’ Surely, Vaughn explained him his reasoning. ‘He didn’t tell me anything,’ Harkless said. I find it hard to believe that Vaughn blindsided Harkless without any explanation. When asked about Harkless not playing against the Bulls, Vaughn gave an indication that he was resting the rookie acquired in the Dwight Howard trade. ‘Coaching decision. It’s a long year,’ Vaughn said. ‘Maurice has played a lot of games so far this year. I’m not sure how many compared to his freshman year at St. John’s, but it’s a long year and as a coach, I have to decide mentally and physically, where my guys are and take an approach that’s beneficial for their careers … so just a coach’s decision.’ But it is interesting that Harkless started and played 22 minutes against Toronto four days ago, then didn’t play against the Heat at all two days later.In fact, Vaughn started another rookie, DeQuan Jones, against Miami. Curious.”