Put some respect on Tobias Harris name
In last night’s win over the Toronto Raptors, Tobias Harris finished the night scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds on 11/20 shooting. To go along with that, Harris added two steals and two blocks rounding out a fantastic night. That night, as usual for Tobias Harris, went under the radar. Kevin, James, and myself have constantly pointed out on Process to Progress is the lack of appreciation towards Tobias Harris. There’s no denying that he’s often left out of the conversation as the Sixers’ third star.
To start off the season Tobias did have a rough going, shooting 3/13 against Washington. The slow start for Harris and the Sixers as a whole was expected. A brand new coaching staff and scheme to go along with them while changing half the roster all in about a month’s time is a lot in a short span. Many knew going into this that the transition wasn’t going to be easy.
Tobias Harris was a broken basketball player since joining the 76ers and was stuck in a Brett Brown schemed offense that did not play to any of his strengths as a basketball player. Now he has a chance to redeem himself under Doc Rivers, a coach he had tremendous success with in Los Angeles.
Since that dreadful start, Tobias has really found his groove. In the following three games Harris has shot over 50% in all three games and is 40% from deep on the season. Yes, I’m aware that we have seen a sample size of four games so far this season, but even in a broken system last year, Harris quietly averaged 19 points, seven rebounds, and four assists per game.
Throughout all of last season Harris was criticized for not getting it done. The way his play was discussed you would think he averaged 8 points per game on the worst contract in NBA history. While in reality, he averaged nearly 20 PPG and was .4 PPG away from breaking his career high while going from the primary option to the the third option.
Tobias has been the biggest receptor of criticism from Sixers fans and many blame it on his contract. While he might have one really bad game, he will always bounce back and have a really good stretch of 4-5 games following or even more. These performances seem to fall on deaf ears and only the negatives are often noticed. While it is always a good thing to point out places of improvement it often seems the critiques of Harris’ poor performances are often louder, and harsher compared to those of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Going back to the contract, it is often said he doesn’t live up to his $180 million contract. Unless you’re Josh Harris or another Sixers owner, why do you care what he makes? Tobias was signed over the salary cap limit following the Al Horford signing. Nobody else could have been brought in instead of Tobias in 2019 and the opening in cap space likely wouldn’t have done much to improve the team. You can’t blame Tobias for getting paid.
Hopefully as the season continues and the Sixers continue to grow and get more comfortable in Doc’s system, Harris’ strides of improvement will become more visible to audiences and he will finally get some respect on his name.
To Be Clear: Daryl Morey approves this message
Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images