76ers Forward Offers Bulletin Board Material: “We Wanted the Knicks”


Mar 16, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed (44) signs a basketball after the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

(New York, NY) – You really shouldn’t need any additional motivation once the playoffs begin. It’s win or go home. Championship or bust.

And for a New York Knicks team that’s only just beginning to emerge from irrelevance — a franchise that hasn’t won a trophy in over 50 years — the pressure to perform can hardly be understated.

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

But if there is any additional room for extra juice, 76ers forward Paul Reed delivered it this week, ahead of the series opener between Philadelphia and New York on Saturday.

Asked about his team’s close victory in the closing moments of their play-in tournament win against Miami, Reed admitted “yeah, we wanted the Knicks matchup. That’s the easier team.”

 Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

He grinned while saying it, perhaps realizing he was talking trash. Oh well, that’s his right in the NBA. Talking and challenging opponents is a way of life. How will the Knicks respond?

After beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of last year’s playoffs, the Knicks ultimately fell to the Miami Heat. Now they have OJ Anunoby in the fold, but Julius Randle has been lost for the season with shoulder surgery. All the while, Jalen Brunson is the Knicks star and the centerpiece of their offense.

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Reed did offer complimentary words toward Brunson, but suggested Joel Embiid will be the difference in the series. He predicts the Knicks will need to triple team Embiid, which will open things up elsewhere. And he could have a point – while the 76ers are officially the 7th seed entering postseason play, they’re much more talented than that.

Embiid missed a good chunk of the season but is now back healthy and pacing Philadelphia as they look to advance.

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