Sixers impressed with how Tobias Harris has improved as a passer

new balance


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PHILADELPHIA — There is so much Tobias Harris does on the floor to help the Philadelphia 76ers succeed.

The veteran out of Tennessee is not their best player or even their second-best player. However, Harris does a little bit of everything, and he does whatever the Sixers ask of him. Whether it’s scoring, locking up an opponent or being a playmaker, Harris gives Philadelphia a boost.

In Tuesday’s win over the Sacramento Kings, he did a combination of all of those things. Harris had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He also locked up Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, holding him way below his season averages.

However, the nine assists are what stood out the most.

“Just making the right read,” said Harris. “Obviously, they were a team coming into the game we know helps a lot so getting into the middle of the paint, kicking out, guys are making shots, just kinda being able to pick apart the defense a little bit, and then just reading how they were playing. That was the biggest thing.”

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Harris has always been known for his scoring ability more than anything. When the veteran is on a roll, he makes life tough for everybody on the defensive end. When he is also making plays for others, he becomes an even more dynamic player.

“Just seeing the game,” coach Doc Rivers said of Harris. “Slowing the game down for him. That’s not something he is. He’s a great passer, but he’s becoming a better passer each year, and with the spacing and guys are, we go over it every day. We covered it over and over again.”

The biggest thing with being a playmaker is understanding where a guy is going to be while out on the floor. If Harris drives into the paint, then he has to understand where the defense is going to come at him as well as where his teammates will be out on the floor. He did a good job of that on Tuesday.

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“You know where guys are coming, you know where they’re trying to flood, you got PJ (Tucker) in the right spots, Matisse (Thybulle) is diving, so I think when you practice over and over again, you see it,” Rivers added. “I think he’s starting to see it. It’s good for us.”

Rivers, of course, coached Harris while with the Los Angeles Clippers and he is a much better passer now that he was out in LA.

“He was a scorer,” Rivers added. “That’s what you wanted him to be. Adding that to your game is big for him though.”

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire

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