Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris explain success finishing at the rim for Sixers

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Ky Carlin
·3 min read
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It’s no secret that Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris had some issues of really justifying that 5-year $180 million contract the team gave him in the 2019 offseason, but to begin the second season of that contract, he’s off to a terrific start.

Harris is averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 rebounds and he’s doing it at an efficient level. He is shooting 51.5% from the floor and he is shooting 45.5% from deep. On top of that, he is doing a much better job of continuing to make quick moves to the basket into his shot and getting to the basket and finishing.

Back on opening night in December, Harris had a tough start to the season shooting just 3-for-13 and 0-for-4 from deep. Afterward, coach Doc Rivers said he hesitated too much. That is not happening anymore.

“I think a lot of it is he’s getting back to where we used to have him when I was in LA with quick decisions, just straight line, decisive basketball,” said Rivers. “When he’s a decisive player, he’s really good. When he gets himself into those indecisive moments, you can literally see him where he’s hesitating with the ball, dancing with the ball, that’s just not him. When he makes quick decisions, decisive, going downhill with the power that he has, he’s a force, and he’s been doing that.”

Harris is shooting 49.5% on pull-ups and he is shooting 46.8% on catch and shoot jumpers per NBA Stats. Those numbers and that ability to put that thought into a defender’s mind forces them to play him for the jumper to then he can blow by them and get to the basket.

“I’m a guy when I come off pick-and-rolls, it’s to get to pull up jumper, but if I see space and light, it’s about getting downhill,” Harris explained. “The next step is to start drawing more and more fouls when I get down there and with contact. I’m always watching and seeing ways that I can grow.”

Rivers emphasized that Harris dribbled too much in the 2019-20 season and that was something that he wanted to nip in the bud rather quickly. So far, it has been working and both he and the Sixers are benefitting from all of it.

“I think it’s definitely the decisiveness of being able to come off, get downhill, get into the lane, and make plays,” Harris added. “In this league with the size that I have, you have to be a good finisher, to be able to score over bigger guys in the paint, but just getting downhill, making the best decisions out there.”

There was a play in Wednesday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets where Harris drove, performed a euro step, and he got to the basket and finished. That is a move that he did not have in the past and that he got from watching highlights of other players.

“That euro step, I was watching a bunch of highlights of different guys getting downhill and saw that,” laughed Harris. “Man, I gotta get that in my game, that euro. It just came out today and I was like oh (expletive), I did that.”

The Sixers now return home to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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