The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has continued to hit the NBA hard in recent weeks as cases continue to rise. The Philadelphia 76ers were one of those teams earlier in the season as they were hit hard with guys like Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris who were stuck in the protocols.
Harris missed six games after testing positive for COVID and his numbers have been a bit down though since his return. He is averaging 18.4 points, but he is shooting only 44.4% from the floor and only 31.6% from deep as things have been tough for him.
He played well in Wednesday’s loss to the Miami Heat as he scored 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting, but it could be that COVID is still affecting him.
“A little bit,” said Harris. “I still feel like every day I have a cold, but honestly, I think that’s just what it is right now. When you’re playing the game and your body is taking on stress and stress from activity, but for me, it’s just fighting through and hopefully, progress over time. Obviously, this is something you don’t know too much about as a whole.”
While Harris is still recovering and dealing with the effects of COVID, it is helpful for him to get back to making quicker decisions. He did a better job of that against the Heat and now, it has to continue.
“Definitely, yeah,” said coach Doc Rivers. “There’s no doubt about that part. The basketball part’s easy. The effects of COVID on each guy, I mean it’s amazing how many different stories I’ve heard from guys who have had it and how they’ve come back and how it’s affected them in so many different ways.”
As the Sixers look to get back on track, Harris will have to get back to being that guy he was in the 2020-21 season when he was a borderline All-Star. He has got to be that second scorer next to Joel Embiid in order for Philadelphia to succeed.
“The basketball part, we pretty much know,” said Rivers. “We gotta get back to quick decision, ball-movement, attacks.”
Sixers vs. Nets game preview: How to watch, TV channel, start time
Joel Embiid, Sixers discuss how they can attack zone defenses better
Sixers star Joel Embiid discusses apparent leg injury suffered in loss to Heat