Examining how Tobias Harris will fit in offensively with the 76ers

Examining how Tobias Harris will fit in offensively with the 76ers


Examining how Tobias Harris will fit in offensively with the 76ers

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The Philadelphia 76ers acquired Tobias Harris, who will have to adapt his game to fit the offensive style of head coach Brett Brown.

Earlier this season, 76ers wing Jimmy Butler was reportedly disgruntled about the lack of pick-and-rolls called in the otherwise free-flowing offense. While the Sixers have called this play more often since Butler made his intentions clear, it is possible that Harris will have a similar request.

Brian Windhorst noted that Harris has been one of the most frequent pick-and-roll finishers in the NBA (via ESPN):

“Tobias is a very high pick-and-roll player. Like, the Clippers were one of the league leaders in pick-and-rolls [and] he was the screener [who posted a lot of] points per possession off screens. The Sixers are not a heavy pick-and-roll team. Now that being said, Tobias is very adept at going out and stretching the floor and being a spot-up shooter and even creating a little bit.”

As the ballhandler on pick-and-roll opportunities, Harris has averaged 0.99 points per possession. That ranks Top 20 among all players (minimum: 100 possessions) this season, via Synergy Sports.

It has become a focal point of Harris’ offense, especially this season. When including passes, Harris has averaged 8.0 pick-and-roll possessions per game.

The 76ers, meanwhile, rank last in the NBA with just 19.6 pick-and-roll possessions per game. For comparison, the Clippers are currently averaging 44.9 pick-and-roll possessions per game (second-most in the league).

However, as Windhorst noted, Harris is a versatile enough scoring threat that he will find various ways to score for Philadelphia.

Don’t be surprised if the forward becomes an elite spot-up shooter on his new team. Harris has averaged 1.28 PPP (95th percentile) when spotting up. He has also scored 1.26 PPP (87th percentile) on catch-and-shoot plays.

But perhaps his most valuable offensive skill set is his ability to create his own shot. Harris has scored a total of 256 points from jump shots off the dribble this season, which ranks Top 20 among all players in the NBA.

He has connected on 78 field goals after two dribbles, trailing Washington’s Bradley Beal by just one bucket for the most in the NBA. This gives Philadelphia another offensive weapon who can score without help, which could be particularly helpful in late-in-game moments.

After Butler was acquired in November, Joel Embiid told HoopsHype that he was excited to add someone who could create their own buckets and score off the dribble: “He brings something to the team that we didn’t have before – [the ability to] create shots and be able to make shots off the dribble.”

The 76ers just added another player with this skill set in Harris. More than half of his field goals have been unassisted this season. That ranks in the 91st percentile, according to Cleaning the Glass.

Harris will have a smaller usage rate now that he’s playing with Butler, Embiid and Ben Simmons. He must be aggressive, but also willing to sacrifice some of his touches to help his new teammates succeed. Based on the evidence we’ve seen, Harris is more than capable of doing exactly that.

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