The 2023 NBA Playoffs continue to offer us thrilling basketball every night. But, unfortunately, the constant injuries to key players have been a theme of these playoffs, and the Philadelphia 76ers are no exception. We’ll be keying in on a trusted playoff performer as one of our favorite NBA Props for Saturday afternoon’s games.
The Philadelphia 76ers are aiming to sweep the Nets in Brooklyn today — tipoff is at 1:00 ET. Philly will be without Joel Embiid this afternoon, which means other players are going to need to step up in his absence.
James Harden has been known to melt in the postseason, and Tyrese Maxey‘s lines are already priced accordingly. But, we love the value in Tobias Harris, who has quietly had an excellent start to the series.
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NBA Props for Saturday (4/22)
Tobias Harris Over 16.5 Points (-118 @ FanDuel)
Tobias Harris has functioned as Philadelphia’s fourth scoring option since the team traded for James Harden. But, with Joel Embiid‘s usage now absent from the lineup, the Sixers will be in desperate need of a big game from Tobi.
Tyrese Maxey is the safest bet to lead the Sixers in scoring today, but his points lines opened at 24.5. Harden, meanwhile, feels over-priced with his scoring lines set at 23.5. Then, we have Tobi.
Harris has scored 21, 20, and 15 points through his first three postseason games. And, that’s with Joel Embiid and his 27.2% usage rate in the lineup. Although Embiid is shooting far less this postseason than we’re accustomed to, his absence will undoubtedly result in more scoring opportunities for Harris.
Joel Embiid’s Absence
Harris has seen a significant usage bump when Joel Embiid has been inactive over the last couple of seasons. Dating back to last year, he’s seen his usage rate increase from 19.1% with Embiid to 25.4% without Embiid.
That 6.3% increase is the second-largest in Philly’s lineup. Only Maxey’s 6.8 USG% increase has been larger, while Harden sees just a 3.6% increase.
In this 25-game sample without Embiid, Harris has scored at least 16 points in 19 of his 25 games. And, if we narrow that to games where Harris played at least 30 minutes in Embiid’s absence, the numbers are striking.
Tobi has scored 16-plus points in 17 of 18 games when seeing at least 30 minutes without Embiid over the last two seasons. He’s averaged 21.9 PPG on an incredibly steady diet of 17.4 field goal attempts per game.
The 30-year-old forward played 36 minutes in a Game 3 victory that came down to the wire. And, with just a 2-point spread on today’s game, look for him to see similar playing time in an increased role.
The Brooklyn Nets have sold out to stop Embiid so far in this series. Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn had his guys doubling the superstar center on almost every catch, completely taking away driving lanes and taking Embiid out of his rhythm.
But, without Joel in the lineup, who will Brooklyn’s defense focus on most heavily? We can’t say for sure, but we can safely expect Harden and Maxey to garner more attention than Harris. This would be excellent for our prospects, and we can trust Tobi to come through on a big stage. Along with the playing time, he should see a floor of at least 12 to 14 shots today.
He’s cashed this over in 17 of 23 playoff games where he’s taken at least 12 field goal attempts since 2021. He might just go out and drop 20-plus for us this afternoon.
Tobias Harris has subtly stepped up his game when Philadelphia has needed him most over the last few seasons. With the likely MVP of the 2022-23 season out of the lineup today, the books aren’t giving Tobi enough respect as a scorer.
Have fun playing our favorite NBA Props for Saturday afternoon and Join us for the rest of the NBA playoffs!