Sixers Assistant Coach Hilariously Crashes De’Anthony Melton’s Postgame Interview

De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris

Getty Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets walks under De'Anthony Melton #8 and Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers as they react during the second half of the game at Spectrum Center on November 23, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Don’t look now but the Philadelphia 76ers are building momentum. The team has now won five games in a row to move to 17-12 on the season. Their most recent victory was one of the most thrilling games of the season as the Sixers secured an overtime win over the Raptors by a score of 104-101. Pascal Siakam’s attempt at a game-tieing three-pointer was off the mark and the Sixers secured the scrappy victory.

Following the win, it was Sixers assistant coach Sam Cassell who took over the post-game interview. The long-time assistant stole Sixers reporter Lauren Rosen’s shine and jumped in to ask De’Anthony Melton his own hard-hitting questions.

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As Cassell asked, “Great game today from you guys. For all the threes you missed today, how can we improve on that shot?”

Melton quipped right back at his coach with his own joking reply and put it, “It don’t help that Sam (Cassell) don’t encourage me at all. He’s very discouraging.”

Melton Struggles in Matchup

As alluded to in the interview, it was not Melton’s best performance. The springy guard played 41  minutes where he produced eight points, seven rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Melton shot just 3-14 from the field and 2-11 from beyond the arc while turning the ball over three times.

Despite the poor stats, Melton still had some positive moments in the game. The two three-pointers he knocked down were crucial to the Sixers getting the win. He connected on a three-pointer with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter to bring the Sixers within one and cut the score to 96-95. The USC product also hit a long-range shot just a few minutes earlier off this slick volleyball tap assist from Joel Embiid.

This poor shooting performance is a rare outlier on what has been a spectacular season from Melton thus far. Coming into the matchup with the Raptors he was averaging 12.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in his 29.8 minutes per game. He also is connecting on 39.3% of his three-point attempts while launching a career-high 6.0 long-range shots per game.

Tobias Harris Steps Up

Rightfully so, the conversation with Melton soon shifted to the strong play of Tobias Harris. As he put it, “He’s a pro’s pro. He’s here whenever we need him. He’s a great shooter. He understands that he’s gonna come up for us big down the stretch,” via the Sixers’ Twitter.

This proved to be the case in this matchup as Harris was crucial to the Sixers’ success. He ended the matchup with 21 points and four rebounds while shooting 7-9 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the three-point arc. Toronto was determined not to let Embiid beat them and sent multiple defenders at him each time he touched the ball. They forced Embiid to be used primarily as a playmaker and Harris was the beneficiary of these opportunities.

Most notably, Harris connected with the go-ahead three-pointer to put the Sixers up 104-101 which ultimately proved to be the game-winner. Just one possession later the 30-year-old knocked down another long-range attempt in which a shooting foul was also called on the play. The Raptors challenged the play and it was controversially overturned to an offensive foul on P.J. Tucker which took the points off the board and gave Toronto a chance to win.

The Sixers still closed things out and it did not stop Harris’ confidence. When speaking with Taryn Hatcher of NBC Sports Philadelphia the veteran proclaimed, “Tell a friend to tell a friend I’m a sharpshooter.”

While this may have been the exclamation point of Harris’ season so far, this impact and style of play have been a theme. He is shooting 5.4 three-pointers per game this season which is the most he has attempted during his time with the Sixers while connecting at a 40.4% rate. The veteran leader has embraced his role and turned himself into an effective catch-and-shooter which has not been his most natural style of play throughout his career. Harris has found a way to be the most effective version of himself in the way the Sixers needed and it is translating to on-court success for both him and the team.

Many expected Harris to be the odd man out within the Sixers’ offense due to the ball-dominant nature of Embiid and James Harden. Tyrese Maxey’s emergence last season made these beliefs grow, but Harris has shown this to be no problem early on this season. His willingness to adapt to the team’s needs and ability to effectively produce will continue to make him a key part of the Sixers moving forward.

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