76ers center wanted to see the Knicks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs

NBA: New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers backup center Paul Reed is happy to be facing the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. That’s what he revealed on “Run it Back” on Thursday.

“We ain’t ducking no smoke, but yeah, we wanted the Knicks matchup, of course. That’s the easier team I guess, but you know it’s going to be fun, we match up pretty well,” Reed said. “They got a great guard, we got a great guard, we also got Joel, MVP, so like you said earlier, he’s one of the most unstoppable guys in the league right now. They’re gonna have to send triple teams, and he’s gonna get everybody else involved.”

Paul Reed insults Knicks’ strength as a fearful playoff foe

The Knicks obviously won’t be at full strength without All-Star Julius Randle in the lineup. His 24 points, 9.2 rebounds, and five assists per night won’t be replicated, and it will take multiple efforts from the next men up on the Knicks’ roster to aid Jalen Brunson on the offensive end.

Reed isn’t just glossing over the Knicks offensively. He also doesn’t think they have what it takes to stop reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid. The Cameroonian only played in one regular season matchup against New York, where he went for 30 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Yet, the 76ers got blown out 128-92.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Knicks be able to silence Reed’s confidence in a seven-game series?

The Knicks do have the opportunity to win the series despite not being favored to win the series by many pundits and sportsbooks.

New York won their season series 3-1. They also have Deonte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Miles McBride playing at career-high levels. The Knicks also have Mitchell Robinson back and have enough bodies to throw at Embiid down low, and Reed as well.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has led the team to the seventh-best offensive rating (117.3) and the ninth-best defensive rating (112.4) this season. They’ve been able to find their groove in the midst of early-season struggles, major roster shifts at the trade deadline, and a storm of injuries down the back half of the season.

Their ability to deal with adversity, open up the floor on offense, and rally around Brunson gives them a good chance to beat Philadelphia, even without Randle, with home-court advantage on their side.

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