PHILADELPHIA–One of the bigger competitions for the Philadelphia 76ers in previous seasons has been the backup center spot. Who will be the one giving Joel Embiid his rest when the time calls for it so he can be fresh for the postseason?
In the past, it’s been the likes of Amir Johnson, Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, and DeAndre Jordan. Young big man Paul Reed was thrown into the fire in the 2022 postseason.
Now, heading into the 2022-23 season, it’s looking like it will come down to either Reed or veteran Montrezl Harrell as they continue to battle it out in the preseason.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think nothing like that, honestly,” said Harrell. “That’s not really up to me. That’s something the coaches gotta get in that room and kinda talk with each other, who’s gonna go here, who’s gonna go there. I’m in my eighth year in this league so I know what the end comes with. I know how to be a pro. At the end of the day, it is what it is. Simple as that. That’s where I’m at right now.”
Harrell was the 6th Man of the Year in the 2019-20 season under Doc Rivers when the two were with the Los Angeles Clippers. One would assume that he has the inside track as a veteran in this league and somebody who has proven himself, but it appears that Reed will get a fair shot at the full-time opportunity.
There will also be lineups where the two of them will play together. The Sixers are not afraid to mix things up as they get ready for what they expect will be a successful season and a deep playoff run.
“It doesn’t require much, honestly,” Harrell added of lineups with himself and Reed. “We’re kind of guys that do the same thing. We can finish around the rim, we’re high energy, high active guys, we’re always keeping the ball alive on the offensive end for extra possessions so it’s really not hard, man. It really puts the other team in a bond because you got two guys who hit the offensive glass really hard and keep possessions alive so it’s moreso for the other team will really have to scout and plan for on the offensive end of the floor.”
The veteran out of Louisville has been using practice time as an opportunity to play with Reed and continue to grow with him. Whoever the Sixers decide will be the backup center in the coming season, one can assume that the loser of the battle will play with the other out on the floor.
“We got a lot of different things that we kinda do that keeps us in the flow, keeps us spaced out on the floor, so I don’t think it’s too much of a problem for us,” the veteran finished. “We practice it, we’ve used those lineups in practice to see the floor and see those things.”
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