Doc Rivers talks showing more trust in Paul Reed as Sixers move forward

CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76ers convened for one final practice on Sunday afternoon before making the trek up to Boston for Game 1 against the Celtics on Monday night. The Sixers will be looking to pull off an upset in the wake of losing Joel Embiid to injury for at least Game 1.

In order to do so, they will need more out of Paul Reed. They will need the young, energetic big man to step in and produce in place of Embiid as he did in Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets. He had 10 points and 15 rebounds in that one to finish off the sweep.

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Reed was in a similar position in Round 2 against the Miami Heat in 2022 when Embiid was hurt. The Sixers did not trust Reed enough to start in place of the injured Embiid, but things have changed now.

“Just understanding what we’re doing,” coach Doc Rivers said of his trust in Reed. “Understanding who he is, getting the trust of his teammates, that’s what people miss. You guys don’t understand that. You got to get all that to play and you got to be able to execute stuff and do stuff and if you can’t, it’s hard to play you big minutes. It just is.”

Reed has continued to understand that he is the energy guy on this Sixers team and he has to be the one to do the little things for this group a la PJ Tucker.

“I think Paul brings something to our team, obviously I think other than PJ, as far as offensive rebounding and he brings that energy,” added James Harden. “To where as a big, he’s running the floor, he’s getting extra possessions, he’s switching defensively, and he’s doing a really good job. Especially, in the second half of that Game 4 in Brooklyn when he got a bunch of offensive rebounds, he kicks it out.”


Reed has always been a hard worker. He continues to stay in the gym and work on his game in order to help the Sixers win basketball games, but it is not his production or work ethic that concerned Rivers. It was his understanding of his role.

“He’s young and he’s gotten better at it,” Rivers finished. “He understands his role better on the team. He plays within it most of the time and it’s still on the nights he doesn’t, he doesn’t do well and so none of that has changed, but it’s been great to see. He puts in the time, he puts in the work, but he put in work last year, too. What he didn’t get was the understanding of how to play the game and play right and he’s doing that.”

Reed will have to play a big role when the Sixers head into TD Garden to try and upset the Celtics without the MVP front-runner.


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire