Tobias Harris Snubbed: The Philadelphia 76ers are currently at the top of the Eastern Conference, with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons finally clicking on all cylinders as a cohesive duo out there on the court.
However, a big reason why the Sixers are in the position they’re currently in is because of how Tobias Harris has stepped up for them this season. Harris is currently averaging 20.2 points per game on an extremely efficient 51.3 percent shooting from the field. Harris is also grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game and dishing out 3.4 assists per game.
The rest of the guys who either made the All-Star team or were also just left off the roster are putting up similar if not better numbers than Harris, but the Long Island native is putting up those numbers as a third option on a championship contending team.
His impact on the court is clearly felt, as the Sixers are nearly seven points better on the offensive rating metric with him on the court than when he’s off. Defensively, Philadelphia is 1.6 points better defensively when he’s on the court as well.
While Harris is a huge beneficiary of getting passes from guys like Simmons to do a lot of his damage throughout the course of games, Harris has also shown that he is capable of creating his own offense with the ball in his hands.
Harris takes 30.5 percent of his field goal attempts after dribbling the ball 3-6 times, and he’s draining those looks nearly 50 percent of the time.
Harris’ ability to shoot anywhere on the floor, with the mid-range and at the rim game being his strong suits really opens the offense up for the Sixers, as defenses can’t rely on just shutting down Embiid and/or Simmons on any given night when Harris is more than capable of picking up the slack.
The argument of adding a guy to the All-Star team comes with having to take someone off the team. There are two candidates that come to mind.
Let’s start off with Nikola Vucevic. While his numbers are impressive, the Orlando Magic are currently the second worst team in the Eastern Conference. Bradley Beal didn’t make the All-Star Game last season despite averaging over 30 points per game last season for a bad Washington Wizards team.
If you’re going to account for winning when rounding out an All-Star roster, then it has to be a consistent factor.
If the coaches wanted to have another true center on the roster, then they should’ve gone with Domantas Sabonis to begin with since he’s putting up similar numbers on a better team. Sabonis replaced the injured Kevin Durant on the roster, so at least he got there.
This is going to be wildly unpopular, but Jayson Tatum didn’t deserve to be in the game this season. His numbers are good, and his point per game total is significantly higher than Harris’.
However, Harris is also shooting with significantly better efficiency on five less field goal attempts per game, and he’s doing that while helping his team win meaningful games whereas the Boston Celtics are underachieving this season.
Tatum has a bright future in this league and will have plenty of chances to make the All-Star Game in the future, but that shouldn’t dictate the now and earn him a spot over a more deserving candidate.
Jaylen Brown was deserving this season given the fact that he broke out this season and has been performing better than Tatum, but the Celtics simply don’t deserve to have two All-Stars this season.
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