Maurice Harkless adds another dimension to the Portland Trail Blazers on offense and defense, when he’s not hampered down by something like injuries. Harkless’ left knee, which he had surgery on last March, still bothered the forward in the beginning and middle parts of this season. It appears after months of laboring through the pain, he’s starting to feel like himself again.
“It’s been a tough year, dating back to last year when I got hurt,” Harkless said. “It’s been a battle. It’s been up-and-down. It’s been frustrating at times. But I just stuck with it, I’m continuing to stick with it, and it just feels good to be playing and playing well.”
Being in a better place mentally as well has lifted Harkless’ play:
“I’m just in a better place physically and mentally,” he said. “I feel good, so I’m not thinking about anything. I’m just out there playing, and that’s when I play my best.”
Harkless is averaging 13 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals in the first four games of the Blazers’ current seven-game road trip.
You can read more from Freeman’s piece here.