ORLANDO–The Philadelphia 76ers are extremely short-handed at the moment as they battle through the injuries to their three best players and a key rotational piece who is also their best perimeter defender.
Therefore, the Sixers need others to step up and give more out on the floor and Tobias Harris has embodied that for the Sixers. In Friday’s win over the Orlando Magic on the road, Harris had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists and he provided some terrific defense against Magic rookie Paolo Banchero as well.
With Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey out with injuries, the Sixers look to Harris to be the leader and do more out on the floor. He has always prided himself in doing that, but he has taken things a step further with the team being so short-handed.
“Honestly, just doing my part, but bringing guys along,” said Harris. “We got a lot of guys who haven’t been in many of these situations and then we got guys who have and then we got new guys coming in and playing big minutes. So there’s a lot of emotions with that as well because you want to go out and play your best every single night. So just monitoring where we’re at as a group and keeping guys level-headed through it all. Ups and downs.”
On Friday, the Magic were much bigger than the Sixers. Orlando features some legitimate 7-footers on their frontline and they were beating up on Philadelphia in the paint. Harris and the Sixers made sure they made changes and they were able to come away with a win.
“A game like tonight (Friday) for this group, we could’ve easily allowed them to push the momentum in the first half into the second but we really took a stance and really locked in mentally that we were going to win this game and get focused out there, and get ready,” Harris finished. “Still some mistakes in the fourth quarter, but something we can get better at and we know that we’ll have to use for the next game.”
Until the Sixers get Embiid, Harden, and Maxey back, they will need Harris to continue to give more out on the floor with both his play and his voice as Philadelphia continues to lean on him even more.
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