The Philadelphia 76ers didn't have their two-time All-Star point guard Ben Simmons available to them on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets. As the veteran was dealing with a non-COVID-related illness, the Sixers had to find other ways to get creative without Simmons' playmaking abilities.
Doc Rivers made it clear earlier in the year that he's focused on keeping the Sixers' offense positionless. And he made it a point that anybody can bring the ball up and facilitate the offense at any time. On Wednesday night, he put Sixers forward Tobias Harris to the test as he allowed him to get reps as a "point forward."
"We worked on it today," Doc Rivers said in regards to having Harris run the offense. "When Seth [Curry] went out, we figured let's just do it, you know? He was fantastic."
In the first quarter, Harris collected 12 points and four assists on offense. While he didn't facilitate the offense for the entire matchup, it was another job well done for Harris on Wednesday as he finished the game with 24 points, five assists, and 15 rebounds in a little over 36 minutes of action.
After the game, Harris said playing point forward for the 76ers felt good. And the veteran joked that he's finally playing his natural position. "I was getting stops and pushing the ball up -- getting some easy looks," Harris said.
"We're going to continue to progress in that area. For me, it was a chance to have the ball in my hands a little bit in the frontcourt just to see what that could bring for the team at the beginning of the game."
Based on his reaction after the game, it's safe to say Harris enjoyed his time at point forward on Wednesday night. "You know, it's only a matter of time [before I take the position]," Harris said with a smile. "I just have another All-Star point guard in front of me in Ben Simmons. So, once I take his spot at the position, it will be mine for the taken. You know, slowly but surely."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_