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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sixers needed ‘simpler’ Knicks as backup middle Paul Reed tosses first barb of NBA playoffs

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The Philadelphia 76ers survived a scare in opposition to the Miami Warmth of their play-in sport Wednesday night time, escaping with a 105-104 win, establishing a first-round matchup in opposition to the No. 2-seeded New York Knicks. It took overcoming a 14-point deficit and Nicolas Batum catching hearth off the bench for 20 factors on 6 of 10 from deep for the Sixers to get previous Miami. And but, as shut of a name as that win was, Philadelphia is already trash speaking forward of its assembly with the Knicks.

Backup middle Paul Reed did not draw back when speaking concerning the upcoming matchup with New York, and stated that the Sixers needed to play the Knicks. 

“We ain’t ducking no smoke, however yeah, we needed the Knicks matchup, after all,” Reed stated on Run It Again. “That is the better staff I suppose, however you already know it should be enjoyable, we match up fairly properly. They acquired an amazing guard, we acquired an amazing guard, we additionally acquired Joel, MVP, so such as you stated earlier, he is some of the unstoppable guys within the league proper now. They’re gonna need to ship triple groups, and he is gonna get all people else concerned.”

That is each A: confirming that the Sixers are relieved to not need to play the Celtics within the first spherical and B: that they don’t worry the Knicks. Certainly, no staff within the East would wish to play the Celtics within the first spherical, given how dominant they have been all season, and sure, New York is the inferior staff when holding them as much as Boston. However this appears like a kind of conditions the place you do not wish to poke the bear. 

Regardless of all of the accidents the Knicks have had, they managed to complete the season sturdy, and Jalen Brunson performed himself into the fringes of the MVP dialog in addition to the All-NBA First Staff chatter as properly. The Knicks have additionally had the fifth-best internet score within the league for the reason that All-Star break, so throwing verbal jabs after simply beating a Warmth staff that was enjoying with a hobbled Jimmy Butler does not look like an amazing technique.

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The Knicks will not be the Celtics, however going in opposition to them is not going to be a stroll within the park for Philadelphia. We simply noticed in that Warmth sport how unreliable Tobias Harris might be in must-win conditions, and Kelly Oubre Jr. wasn’t precisely lighting up the scoreboard, ending the sport with 11 factors on a poor 3 of 9 from the ground. If it weren’t for Batum coming to life within the second half the Sixers might very properly be making ready for an additional play-in sport in opposition to the Bulls as an alternative of a postseason sequence with New York.

This is not to say that the Sixers aren’t proper in being assured getting into this sequence. As Reed stated, Embiid is troublesome to gameplan for, and he was on observe to win MVP for the second consecutive 12 months had he not gone down with a meniscus harm. Previous to that harm, the Sixers had been buzzing alongside and regarded just like the staff that would meet the Celtics within the Jap Convention finals. However this appears like a kind of “watch out what you wished for” conditions, and in opposition to a Knicks staff that has been enjoying extremely properly as of late, it does not appear clever to provide them extra motivation earlier than you head into Madison Sq. Backyard to try to beat them.

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