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Sixers’ Tobias Harris has All-Star dreams

The forward is looking to earn his first-ever all-star berth

Sixers' Tobias Harris drives on Pelicans' Jrue Holiday during the 4th quarter at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Friday, December 13, 2019.  Sixers beat the Pelicans 116-109.
Sixers' Tobias Harris drives on Pelicans' Jrue Holiday during the 4th quarter at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Friday, December 13, 2019. Sixers beat the Pelicans 116-109.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

The sample size is now big enough to ask the question of the 76ers’ Tobias Harris.

Through 27 games, Harris is having one of his best all-around seasons. And with the way the 6-foot-9 forward has performed, questions about his All-Star candidacy are starting to surface.

He was asked about it after Friday’s 116-109 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans that improved the Sixers’ home record to 14-0 (and 20-7 overall) They are the only NBA team unbeaten at home.

Harris, 27, is in his ninth NBA season and is looking to earn his first All-Star berth.

While some players would suggest that they don’t think about All-Star stuff and are worried only about the next game, Harris is candid on the topic.

“I would love to be an All-Star, it is a goal of mine as a player,” Harris said Friday. “I felt last year I was an All-Star; it didn’t happen that way.”

Harris was traded to the Sixers on Feb. 6 from the Los Angeles Clippers. In 55 games for the Clippers, he averaged a career-high 20.9 points.

This season he is averaging 19.8 points, second on the team to Joel Embiid, who is averaging 22.8.

Harris is also averaging 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists to 1.9 turnovers. He is shooting 49.1% from the field, 79.8% from the foul line, and 32.5% from three-point range.

“He has been so steady and just a responsible, reliable go-to guy, and I put him kind of in a bunch of different spots ...,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “He is having a hell of a year.”

While Harris desires to be an All-Star, it’s not his biggest goal. He thinks the Sixers have a chance to compete for a championship. Harris has qualified for the playoffs in just two of his first eight years, including last season, when the Sixers were eliminated in seven games by eventually NBA champion Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I think each and every night, especially with our team, we have an immense amount of talent and I want to play at my best every single night to help us win games,” Harris said. “I know when I am aggressive and get things in a flow, I am a very hard player to guard. I just look to keep it up.”

He is so hard to guard because he has scored from all over the court. According to stats, 94 of his 211 field goals have come from less than five feet.

After that, he has at least 18 field goals from every other distance, a sign of remarkable versatility.

Here is the breakdown

Field goal distance:

less than five feet: 94

5-9 feet: 28

10-14 feet: 28

15-19 feet: 18

20-24 feet: 21

25-29 feet: 22

Recently he has been on a roll.

Heading into Sunday’s game in Brooklyn against the Nets, Harris has averaged 25.5 points while shooting 76-for-156 in his last eight games.

“This is for sure one of my best stretches as a player, especially being here,” Harris said. “I look to continue the progress.”

From 2016-2017 until now, he has missed a total of four games. This season he is second to Ben Simmons in minutes per game among the Sixers, averaging 34:18 per game (Simmons averages 34:22).

“I know when I am on the floor I never want to come off the floor,” Harris said.

If the Sixers continue to fare well, it certainly won’t hurt Harris’ All-Star chances..

“The sky is the limit for our team and the potential,” Harris said. “We want to continue to progress.”