This is the 43rd edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag. Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit questions for next time by following me on Twitter. @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Question: Is Tobi Harris an All-Star? — @KISSman
Answer: What’s up? Great question.
Yes, Tobias Harris is an All-Star, as I discussed on the Sixers podcast on Jan. 22. Now, of course, this is my opinion. We will find out in February if he’s selected. But based on his performance and impact with the Sixers, he definitely deserves to be an All-Star.
He’s averaging 20.1 points and shooting career bests in overall field-goal (52.5) and three-point (46.2) percentages. Harris has also shown improvement on the defensive end. He’s been the Robin to Joel Embiid’s Batman this season. Harris is also a major reason that the Sixers have the Eastern Conference’s best record, 13-6.
The problem is that Harris doesn’t receive a lot of hype for his play. As a result, players like him often continue to go unnoticed and miss out on All-Star selections.
Q: Will Doc Rivers give Tony Bradley some minutes? Dwight Howard gives them nothing offensively. I’m just thinking Bradley could give them similar rebounding and some post scoring when Joel Embiid is out or on load management. — @Phillyfan4life8
A: Hello. Thanks for the question. I do expect Bradley to get more playing time or even start on nights Embiid is sidelined because of load management. Rivers hinted at that after Monday’s road loss to the Detroit Pistons. The coach said he likes Howard better with the second unit, which is understandable because his pairing with Ben Simmons in the starting lineup leaves the Sixers with two non-shooters on the floor.
However, Bradley had a season-high 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go with nine rebounds in that game against the Pistons. He played at center in place of Howard in the second half.
“I just like Dwight with the second group,” Rivers said that night of making the switch. “I was kicking myself, because I wanted to do that, and then because Tony hasn’t played a lot, I didn’t do it to start the game. I really thought I should have done it to start the game, and I outthought myself for that.”
Q: What is the biggest weakness in the team that if corrected, could boost them to another level? — @KickPushEmoji
A: Thanks for the question. As I wrote in the preseason, the Sixers need a dependable perimeter player to get a bucket consistently. They need someone who can finish isolation plays, take opponents off the dribble or bury step-back three-pointers. They need someone who can strike fear in defenders while making things easier for Embiid.
I know they have Harris. He can create his own shot and get buckets, but he’s a power forward. I’m talking about an elite-level guard/wing.
They had that player in Jimmy Butler, but his tenure in Philly was short-lived. I know that Seth Curry and Danny Green provide much-needed spacing. Still, the Sixers are far from complete without a dominant perimeter player when the competition ramps up in the postseason.