Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed
The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers face off on Monday night, and Sixers big man Paul Reed decided to play some mind games with L.A. All-Star Anthony Davis before the matchup. Speaking to the media after a recent practice, Reed said the Lakers star is a “big flopper,” insinuating he uses theatrics to earn himself foul calls.
“He’s a big flopper so make sure I don’t get in foul trouble early … I can’t be too aggressive with him,” said Reed at shootaround Monday. “He’s gonna be flailing so I gotta make sure I stay out of foul trouble.”
Reed, 24, is an impact player off the Sixers bench. He is averaging 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over his first 16 games of the season, shooting 54% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. It’s unlikely Reed will spend too much time matched up with Davis, but his comments were designed to raise awareness among the game officials and potentially create a less friendly whistle for the Lakers star.
Over his first 16 games for the Lakers this season, Davis has been to the line an average of 5.9 times per game, which isn’t indicative of a player who sells contact to earn free throws. Still, Reed likes to play physically and clearly wants to ensure he isn’t penalized for his bullish brand of basketball. Whether Davis is able to turn that physicality into free-throw attempts remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, the Sixers are showing a new level of competitiveness. Mind games aren’t usually part of a team’s game plan so early in the season, which illustrates a competitiveness that’s been missing from the roster in recent years. Philadelphia is serious about being a contender this season under new head coach Nick Nurse, and the Sixers are proving it with how they’re carrying themselves both on and off the court.
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