Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris has cleared the NBA‘s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will be back on the floor when they face the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. Harris was officially listed as questionable heading into the game, but Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters pregame that Harris “feels good, looks good” and he was in Philadelphia’s starting lineup.
Harris missed Philadelphia’s last six games and hasn’t played since their 122-94 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 30. On the season, he is averaging 19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists with a 60.5 percent true shooting percentage.
Here he is warming up on Thursday:
Harris’ return is a boost for a team that is severely undermanned: Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe all remain out due to health and safety protocols. Guard Seth Curry was sidelined by a left foot contusion when the Sixers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 118-109 on Tuesday but was also in the starting five against Toronto on Thursday.
Philadelphia is also, of course, without Ben Simmons, and yet the team has started the season 8-4, with the league’s No. 1-ranked offense (113.9 points per 100 possessions) and the fifth-best point differential. Despite being shorthanded, the Sixers have routinely dominated opposing second units — they have the third-best aggregate bench net rating in the NBA.
Harris averaged 33 minutes in Philadelphia’s first six games, but do not expect him to reach that number vs. the Raptors. After hosting the Raptors, the Sixers will go on a six-game road trip that will see them visit the Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.