76ers' Paul Reed Happy to Face 'Easier' Team in Knicks

The big man believes the Knicks are a better matchup for Philly than the Celtics.
Paul Reed and Jalen Brunson
Paul Reed and Jalen Brunson / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Miami Heat 105–104 on Wednesday night to secure their place as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference postseason bracket. On Saturday, they'll play Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks.

Sixers center Paul Reed is pleased his team managed to avoid the juggernaut Boston Celtics—the East's No. 1 seed—and is happy to broadcast that to all who can hear.

Reed appeared on FanDuel TV's Run It Back on Thursday and explained why the Knicks are an "easier matchup" for Philly than the Celtics.

While objectively true, this is the kind of quote that could haunt a player. It is no hot take to believe the Knicks, who went 50–32, are an easier team to beat than the 64–18 Celtics. It was definitely in the Sixers' best interest to avoid playing Boston as long as possible if they plan to make a deep playoff run. There is no disputing that.

But New York will thank Reed for this bulletin board material, especially so freely handed out. Despite finishing second in the conference, the Knicks still very much have the aura of a scrappy underdog team that has to scratch and claw their way to each win. They'll eagerly eat up any and all additional motivation, particularly in the form of perceived slights. This fits the bill to a tee.

The 76ers-Knicks clash should be a great first-round series. The 76ers are better than their record indicates because they were missing Joel Embiid for the second half of the season. He's back and getting better with each game. The Knicks, on the other hand, are built for playoff basketball and led by the supernova that is Jalen Brunson at point guard. Reed's comments will only toss oil all over the fire.

True or not, Reed took a shot at the Knicks, and they're not likely to forget it anytime soon.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.