The Summer Sixers were back in action Thursday night in a matchup against an all too familiar foe in the Atlanta Hawks. Despite a shaky start, the young core managed to go on a run late and pull out a victory in overtime.
Multiple players had another strong outing, but the biggest standout had to be Paul Reed. The reigning G-League MVP brought energy and did all the little things to help keep the team within striking distance.
Reed finished the game with 20 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block. After letting the game come to him against the Mavericks, the former second-round pick was much more assertive on Thursday.
What was most impressive about his performance was how he set the tone with his hustle. Many of Reed's early baskets simply came from outworking the defense on the offensive glass for second chance buckets. He even kicked off the night with an emphatic put-back dunk.
After the game, head coach Brian Adams praised Reed for his work all on both ends.
"I'll give Paul a lot of credit. With Paul, he made a lot of winning plays. I really thought Paul came out and played selfless basketball, and ironically as soon as he did that, the ball started finding him, and he started getting easy shots," said Adams.
Being an energy guy is Reed's path to cracking an NBA rotation. If he can continue to do the little things and provide energy on the court, it will be tough not to give him more opportunity this season.
Realizing that is going to be his role at the next level, Adams is working on getting Reed to buy in to being that Swiss army knife-type of role player.
"We've just been preaching you have to buy into the little things that make you an elite role player because that is going to be his role with the big team, just do the little things," Adams said postgame.
Reed is among the players in Vegas who will have a chance to compete for rotation minutes this season. If he can continue to buy in and build off this performance, it might increase his chances of winning a spot in training camp.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.