Sixers coach Brett Brown looking for Tobias Harris to be more aggressive in light of Joel Embiid absence
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown wants Tobias Harris to put the pedal to the metal from here on out. Sixers cornerstone Joel Embiid will be out a week or two after undergoing hand surgery to fix a ligament in his dislocated finger, leaving the role of leading scorer wide open for the taking.
Ben Simmons has proved reluctant to shoot it from distance and too unreliable at the foul line to get his own, leaving Harris as the single most capable asset to lead the Sixers in scoring. The time is now for Tobi:
“When there are long closeouts, we want him to think, ‘I’m scoring,’” Brett Brown said of Tobias Harris, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘I’m going to catch and shoot it. This [charging defender] is wild and out of control — I’m going to drive it. Or if they really arrive soon, I’m going to pass it.’”
In short, Brown wants Harris not thinking but reacting — a tactic he feels should yield more production. The Sixers forward understands where Brown is coming from:
“He’s been telling me a lot to look for my shot, to kind of get them up,” Harris said of Brown. “Obviously, I’m an in-the-flow player. There’s a balance between the both of them. I try to be a very efficient player. That is part of my game. There’s a balance of it.
“But I respect where Coach is coming from and I understand where he’s coming from.”
Harris scored 20 points on 9-of-22 from the floor in a 109-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the Sixers’ most recent game. Sixteen of those shots came in the first half. This came two days after Harris put up 16 points and hit 7-of-17 in a 109-98 win over the Boston Celtics.
While Joel Embiid’s 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds per game are impossible to replicate, Tobias Harris must do his best to keep the Sixers afloat by not letting the game come to him, but rather look to make plays happen, initiate, and be more aggressive when his team needs him to be.