Philadelphia 76ers: Positives from the California road trip

Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Tobias Harris & Al Horford

With the centerpieces of this franchise being sidelined with injury all eyes turned the other two highly paid cornerstones.

It’s fair to say neither Al Horford nor Tobias Harris have lived up to expectation this year. As a max player it was fair to expect Tobias to be able to get his own shot and demand the ball in crunch time. Though he is skilled at creating in the mid-range and on the drive off the pick-and-roll, the offensive force we were all expecting never materialized.

At times Al Horford’s struggles have made his signing feel like a complete oversight by the front office. It seems as though we never expect his shot to go in. He has not been the impact player we remember from the Boston Celtics, but rather a shell of it.

However, in the face of extreme adversity Harris and Horford delivered on the road trip. Horford’s shot is starting to fall, he’s rebounding more effectively, and he averaged over five assists per game. That is the Al Horford the Sixers need for the remainder of the season. They need a solid big that is going to come in and have an impact regardless of if that is through a bench role or at the starting four spot.

Horford’s impact may not be felt in the box score but his ability to “do all the little things” will be extremely valuable in the playoffs. Harris stepped in as the focal point of the offense in Embiid and Simmons absence. He is absolutely lethal coming off the pick-and-roll to create in the mid-range and he shot a better percentage on catch and shot threes during the trip. Tobias’ confidence shooting the three off the catch is imperative come playoff time when, barring injury, Ben Simmons is kicking the ball out.\n