By Jerry Wein
The Sixers Tobias Harris missed his second game last night since being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed that Harris contracted COVID-19 and that he’s dealing with a symptomatic case:
“He’s doing ok, but not great, honestly,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. “That’s the most I’m gonna say about it, but it hit him for sure. A lot of guys have had this and they are mad like ‘What the hell? I’m fine.’ Tobias is not in that category. I can tell you that.”
Harris is reportedly vaccinated, which would presumably ease his path back to the court if he wasn’t experiencing symptoms. But if he’s “not great,” as Rivers put it, there’s no telling what his timeline is at this point. Once he’s recovered — however long that takes — he’ll surely need time to work himself back into shape after being laid out with a respiratory illness.
And the most pressing matter, of course, is Harris’ health independent of his basketball status. Either way, it sounds like Harris won’t return to the court anytime soon.
Harris, 29, was averaging 19.8 points, nine rebounds and a career-high 4.2 assists per game while taking on extra ball-handling duties in Ben Simmons’ absence. He was also shooting a career-best 54.3% from the field. Those stats are from a small sample-size, of course, but Harris was on a potential track for career-best production with his increased role as Philadelphia’s No. 2 option behind Joel Embiid.
Harris joined Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Cleveland Cavaliers forwards Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen in being placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols this week.