While taking questions for his mailbag, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice was asked if the Philadelphia 76ers should consider replacing Tobias Harris in crunchtime with trade deadline addition Jalen McDaniels.
Neubeck responded to the question in his March 17 mailbag, admitting that while McDaniels has flaws, he could see a scenario where McDaniels could get the nod over Harris at the end of games.
“This idea gets slightly less crazy to me by the day, truthfully. I have plenty of issues with McDaniels, who has taken up Matisse Thybulle’s post as the guy who commits needless fouls that make you want to pull your hair out and think those might loom larger in the playoffs than they have in the regular season. That said, he’s a better athlete, a more active rebounder, and brings enough to the table offensively that I think you could justify having him out there in the biggest moments.”
However, Neubeck’s final conclusion regarding whether the Sixers would do something like that was, “Probably not.”
With the Sixers winning as much as they have been lately, it would be hard to see them making any lineup changes this late into the season, especially late in games.
Joel Embiid Praises Tobias Harris
In the Sixers game against the Charlotte Hornets on March 17, Harris put up 18 points, the most he’s scored since putting up the same point total against the Miami Heat on March 1. Before the Hornets game, Harris was averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 41.1% from the field and 33.3% from three in the month of March.
Following Harris breaking out of his slump, Joel Embiid praised his teammate for getting his groove back.
“Tobias was good,” Embiid told reporters, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “It seems like he’s getting back to himself. We’re going to need that every game. The ball moved pretty well. Everybody touched it. Then defensively, we were all in sync.”
Harris also talked about his performance, talking about how he thrived against the Hornets.
“I was just taking advantage of the opportunity,” Harris told NBC Sports Philadelphia after the game, as transcribed by Carlin. “I thought we did a great job defensively of creating stops and getting out in transition and I was able to find some good looks, easy looks, and be aggressive, and take advantage of it.”
Jalen McDaniels Remains Out
McDaniels has not played since suffering a hip injury against the Washington Wizards on March 12, causing him to miss their next games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Hornets.
Before the Sixers took on the Hornets, McDaniels talked to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer about the restraints he’s had to deal with since suffering the injury.
“Just being physical. Me being a skinner-type dude, I have to be physical. So without that, I’m just like nothing now w/ the injury. I can’t hit somebody like I want to,” McDaniels said.
McDaniels being out with injury spoiled his return to Charlotte. Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that McDaniels, along with P.J. Tucker, is questionable for the Sixers’ upcoming game against the Indiana Pacers.