The Orlando Magic face a tough test Wednesday when they host the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the Eastern Conference and have already clinched the Southeast Division. Fortunately, a key reinforcement may arrive before tipoff.
Tobias Harris, who has missed the Magic's last three games due to a sprained ankle, participated in Orlando's practice on Tuesday morning, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. He says there's a "strong" chance Harris plays Wednesday.
Harris, 22, is averaging 16.9 points and 6.2 boards per game on 46.3 percent shooting from the field.
In Harris' absence, Maurice Harkless has gotten the starting small-forward nod. In those appearances, the third-year player has scored eight points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game. However, he did most of that damage in the first game Harris missed, a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, in which Harkless posted 18 points and six boards.
Orlando will need all the firepower it can muster to take down Atlanta. Despite losing each of its last three games, it still sits atop the East and looks like a serious championship contender. And it boasts four All-Stars in its starting five.
With or without Harris, Orlando jumps it up against the Hawks at 7:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday.