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The Philadelphia 76ers dropped Game 1 against the Miami Heat 106-92 on Monday but Paul Reed thinks his squad still has the upper hand.
Reed — who had 4 points and 9 rebounds — sounded off after the Sixers’ loss, feeling that their physicality can eventually make the Heat “fold.”
“We can definitely beat this team,” Reed said. “I think if we go out there, be more physical than them, and play more aggressive and keep them on their heels, they’re gonna fold. We seen that happen in the second quarter and a little bit in the first. I think there’s one thing we realize playing this team.”
Philadelphia rallied for a halftime lead thanks to a big second quarter, outscoring the Heat 29-20 in the stanza. However, a second-half surge by Miami was too much for the Joel Embiid-less Sixers to handle.
“We have the offense, that’s not the problem,” Reed said. “I think the only thing we have to worry about is locking them down every possession and getting out in transition. Once we do that, they can’t stop us.”
That’s easier said than done. The Heat were playing without star guard Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler was held to just 15 points. However, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro combined for 49 points.
Paul Reed Taking on Larger Role Without Embiid in Lineup
The Sixers headed into the matchup with the clear expectation that Embiid’s minutes would be filled by committee rather than by a single person. Reed, Charles Bassey, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap all saw minutes at center.
The problem for Reed was foul trouble, which has been his bugaboo this season. He racked up five against the Heat and played just 13 minutes.
“I definitely think about that. I definitely think about, I need to be on the court. I don’t need to foul, I know I got three, if I get another one I know I’m coming out,” Reed said after the game. “I definitely think about those things. But then in the moment, you got somebody driving to the lane on you, and like I said I don’t be trying to let nobody score at all. But I know my team need me right now big time, so I gotta like take the pride away and do what’s best for the team.”
Doc Rivers Doubles Down on DeAndre Jordan Starting
Rivers decided to roll with Jordan as the team’s starting center and it didn’t play out well. The 33-year-old looked a step behind on both sides of the court and finished minus-22 in 17 minutes. He notched just 4 points and 2 rebounds.
While Rivers took some heat for the decision after the game, he doubled down on starting the veteran big man.
“We just felt like, we talked to our guys,” Rivers said. “They wanted a big guy, a big roller, I thought the second half that’s how he has to play every night. Those first four or five minutes were great from him, that’s what we need. We also love Paul [Reed], but we don’t need Paul in foul trouble, and that’s why you don’t want to start him.”
Game 2 is slated for Wednesday between the Heat and Sixers.