— Tobias Harris
It’s happening again. Tobias Harris was shockingly effective and reliable in last year’s postseason, providing the Sixers with dedicated defense in high-profile matchups and embracing his duties as a decisive shooter and quick decision-maker offensively.
Now, after another okay-but-not-great regular season, Harris is back in top form for the playoffs. It’s only round one, and it’s only the Brooklyn Nets, but Harris has been arguably the most consistent player on the team through two games. He scored 21 points on 14 shots in game one, then scored 20 points on 14 shots in game two, all while playing solid defense against Brooklyn’s myriad wings.
The Sixers need this version of Tobias Harris to persist, especially if Philly makes it to Boston in the second round. He can’t get too bogged down in trying to create his own offense — Harris is at his best when he lets game flow determine his production. If Harris can actively strengthen the Sixers’ perimeter defense while spacing the floor for Harden and Embiid without unnecessary complication, he will be unspeakably important for this stretch run — however long this stretch run lasts.
It’s easy to forget that Harris is now one of the longest-tenured Sixers on the roster. He has been through the wringer with this group a few times now. He knows what has prevented Philadelphia from reaching the mountaintop in the past, and he appears refreshingly committed to doing his best to make this season’s outcome different.