Doc Rivers singles out Tobias Harris for defense in win over Clippers

The Philadelphia 76ers were able to pick up a 120-110 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night thanks to the play mostly of Joel Embiid who continues to be a dominant force on the offensive end. One can go on and on about terrific he was on his way to 41 points in the win.

However, the Sixers needed others to step up as well and on Tuesday, it was Tobias Harris.

Harris had 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and he tied his career-high with five steals in the win. He also had to lock down Clippers star Kawhi Leonard and he also defended Paul George for a bit as well.

Per NBA.com stats, Leonard shot just 1-for-4 when defended by Harris. That might not have been an assignment coach Doc Rivers would have him take during their time together with the Clippers before Philadelphia.

“He’s been great, and we wouldn’t have put him on any of those guys when I was here,” Rivers told reporters. “When you think about it, he was trying to develop himself as an offensive player. So he did that. Now he’s on the other end, which has been great for us.”

As for Harris, he agreed with his coach that he has improved most as a defender since the trade from the Clippers to the Sixers.

“Definitely on the defensive end,” said Harris. “Just being able to go out there and guard some of the best guys in the league. That took a lot of time to develop and get better at on that side of the floor.”

When the Clippers acquired Harris from the Detroit Pistons in the Blake Griffin deal back in 2018, the idea was for Harris to blossom into a reliable offensive player. He took advantage of that and now, with the Sixers, he has to be able to produce on both ends of the floor which he is doing for Philadelphia at the moment.

“Overall, just having patience,” Harris added. “When he (Rivers) had me here (Los Angeles), this was a place for me. I was able to blossom into the player that I was and get a great opportunity and I always embrace that and I’m extremely grateful for that. Playing here also taught highs and lows of the NBA through a whole season and embracing that. Those are the key areas I thought I’ve had the biggest growth in.”

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire