Wizards Coach Scott Brooks on Tobias Harris: ‘He is a Professional Scorer’
The Sixers will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center (listen on 97.3 ESPN).
In order to grab that second win, they will need another big performance from forward Tobias Harris, who silenced some critics during his playoff career-high 37 point Game 1 output, which included 16 in the second quarter.
However, since coming to Philadelphia in a trade during the 20018-29 season, Harris hasn't been the player we see today. While his numbers suggested he was a solid and similar player to the one we've seen in 2021, his actions in some of the bigger games said otherwise. Harris lacked decisiveness, and that quick decision-making ability to know what to do with the ball when it came his way.
Many times Harris would catch the ball on a wing, and dribble around like a hockey player trying to figure out what his move will be during a penalty shot. That indecisiveness gave defenders plenty of time to either make him shot a poor shot, or double him to get the ball out of his hands.
This season, Harris has blossomed into a much more efficient player, shooting a career-high 51.2% from-the-floor and showing a much more decisive first-step and aggression to the basket. He has turned into a three-prong scorer, with the ability to catch and shoot from behind the arc, put the ball on the floor and pull up, or take it to the basket and get himself to the line, where he shots 89% for the season.
"He is a professional scorer," said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. He scores all over the floor. He posts up smaller players, he can take bigger players off-the-dribble, pick-n-roll player, transition player, gets to the free-throw line. He's an all-star player, and I don't know why he hasn't been one."
He is a player that the Wizards simply don't have an answer for, was a big reason why the Sixers were able to stay in the game with Joel Embiid sitting on the bench for all but 10 first-half minutes in Game 1.
"We need to do a better job on him," admitted Brooks. "I thought he took over and kept them right around where they wanted to be."
Harris dominated the Wizards dilapidated defense in the first-half, pouring in 28 points, while connecting 15-of-29 shots in the game, showing that aggression and efficiency that he had on display all season long.
Many Sixers fans would like to see more scoring from Ben Simmons, but if they continue to get this version of Tobias Harris, they are going to be very difficult to stop moving forward in these playoffs.
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