As Maurice Harkless continues his breakout season, the national media is starting to take notice. Zach Lowe of ESPN recently gave credit to the blossoming player in his latest column. Lowe is especially impressed by the emergence of Harkless’ post-up game, something the forward has rarely relied on during his young NBA career before this season.
When Lillard and McCollum swing the ball to him, Harkless is attacking off the bounce with zero hesitation. He's even posting up smaller players, and he's been so good at it, the Blazers will look for him down low in a favorable matchup. He has a new mean streak to his game. Harkless is 15-of-25 on post-ups so far this season after going 20-of-47 combined over his first four seasons, per Synergy Sports.
Harkless continues to be a bright spot for the Trail Blazers. He has stepped up as an effective third scorer, and has been the team’s most consistent player not named Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum this season.
The Trail Blazers signed Harkless to a four-year, $40 million contract this past summer, and the investment has paid off greatly so far. He is averaging career-highs in points (13.0), rebounds (5.4), and minutes (31.1) per game, as well as field goal percentage (49.6%) in 23 appearances— all starts. He has proven himself at both ends of the court, and at just 23 years old, could figure into Portland’s plans for many years to come.