The Philadelphia 76ers are about to embark on a tough couple of weeks ahead as they get set to continue to try and win games while missing their best player in Joel Embiid. The superstar big man will miss 2-to-3 weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee so the Sixers will have to do more in order to get the job done.
Of course, the brunt of that responsibility will fall on the team’s other All-Star, Ben Simmons, but there will be a lot of that will also fall on Tobias Harris. He is the team’s highest-paid player, after all, and he is ready for the challenge.
In Sunday’s blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs, Harris had 23 points along with seven assists and nine rebounds. Those seven assists are what stands out right now as he looks to help lead the team on this tough stretch.
“It is my job and duty to make those plays out there as well,” Harris explained. “It’s night by night, just figuring out watching film on different passes I can make, and the ball will find you and it comes back to you, but it opens up the floor for other guys too.”
Over his past 16 games, Harris is averaging 4.4 assists and he is averaging a career-high 3.5 assists in the 2020-21 season. It has been a continuous development with him, but he continues to make strides in that area on offense.
“For me, it’s just been seeing how the defense is playing,” said Harris. “I think with Jo out there, sometimes we always have to read how they’re guarding the pick-and-roll, sometimes they stay with him which is easier for me to get to the lane. Other times, he picks and pops a little bit.”
Now, the Sixers will have to play much differently. Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard are not the scorers that Embiid is as they contribute in different ways. They play closer to the basket rather than being able to dominate as Embiid does.
“Playing with Tony and Dwight out there, now just being able to get that pocket pass,” Harris finished. “We talked about it in the beginning season, just the evolution of being a good pick-and-roll player is being able to knock down a mid-range, finish down lane, and then make plays out of it. Once we continue to roll faster to the basket, that’ll open up the floor for other shooters on the floor.”
The Sixers will take on the New York Knicks on Tuesday to continue the tough stretch.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!
Sixers understand the importance of Matisse Thybulle’s offensive gameSixers rookie Paul Reed expected to have two-way deal converted to standardBen Simmons discusses his responsibility to Sixers with Joel Embiid out