Because NBA players are so incredibly good at their jobs, horrific performances tend to stick out like a sore thumb. On Monday night, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum shot just 1-of-18 from the field, the second-worst shooting performance in a win over the last 65 years.
In a similarly unexpected turn of events, the normally steady Tobias Harris went 4-for-17 from the field, including 0-for-11 on 3-pointers in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. The 11 missed 3-pointers without a make were just one short of the NBA record held by Brook Lopez, who went 0-12 from deep against the Suns last November. According to Basketball-Reference, Stephen Curry, Trey Burke and Antoine Walker also had regular-season games missing all 11 3-point attempts.
Making matters worse, Harris’ box-score disaster came just hours after Sixers coach Brett Brown called him “JJ Redick at 6-foot-9.”
Brown was quick to come to his player’s defense after the off night, however, revealing that Harris was under the weather during the game and that his status was in jeopardy until a few hours prior to tip-off.
Harris has shot over 39 percent from the 3-point line in each of his last two seasons but entered Tuesday night’s game at just 29 percent this year. That percentage will obviously go down now. Redick, on the other hand, has hit 43 percent of his 3-pointers over the last five seasons, and is filling it up at a 45.5 percent clip this year for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Brown may have been joking when likening Harris to Redick, who spaced the floor wonderfully for the 76ers over the previous two seasons, but it underscores a real concern for the Sixers offense. With Redick gone, they’re asking players like Harris and Josh Richardson to become knock-down 3-point shooters and floor spacers, a role neither of them are really suited for. The 76ers entered Tuesday night’s game in the bottom-third of the league in 3-pointers made per game at 10.6, and they desperately need shooting to open up the paint for Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Harris isn’t going to shoot this poorly every night (or maybe ever again), but the Sixers’ lack of shooting is evident to start the season.