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Sixers vs. Knicks: Buddy Hield’s Thoughts on Revised Role

What did Philadelphia 76ers veteran Buddy Hield think about coming off the bench against the New York Knicks on Sunday?

Currently, the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t making any permanent decisions regarding the starting lineup, considering they have a handful of injuries in play.

At times recently, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse has shown a willingness to shake up the starting five. He did so once again on Sunday night against the New York Knicks.

Buddy Hield became the player to see a revised role on Sunday night. After starting in every game he’s played for the Sixers since getting traded from the Indiana Pacers last month, Hield came off the bench for the first time during his Sixers tenure.

Before Nurse revealed that change, he acknowledged the recent drop in production from Hield. After a hot start with the 76ers, Hield saw a slight dip in production and efficiency. As expected, the Sixers are far from concerned.

However, Nurse was intrigued with the idea of getting Hield a different look in order to get him back on track. Following an eight-point game on 20 percent shooting at home against the New Orleans Pelicans last Friday night, Hield put together a much better showing in New York on Sunday night.

Coming off the bench for a 26-minute shift, Hield attempted nine shots from the field, draining 67 percent of his attempts. From deep, he knocked down four of his six shots. Hield wrapped up the six-point victory with 16 points off the bench for Philadelphia. He also collected seven rebounds and dished out three assists.

Going from a starting role to coming off the bench isn’t always an easy scenario for players, especially for veterans who’ve started in more than half of their career games. Fortunately for the Sixers, Hield trusted Nurse’s vision in New York.

“Nick did a great job of putting me in good spots tonight,” Hield told reporters on Sunday night, according to Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin. “It’s not about starting or coming off the bench. I think everybody has done that since I came here so whatever he wants, we go with and we trust whatever decision he makes.”

Since joining the Sixers, Hield consistently preached that he understood his role and intended to do whatever is asked of him for the greater good of the squad. Knowing that the Sixers were willing to invest assets in a trade to land him, Hield understands that the Sixers didn’t make a deal to land him for a small role. 

“Once I go there and get quality minutes and help this team win, that’s all that matters,” Hield added. “I come in and played my role and I know what I’m here to do and I did it tonight and it was fun.”

Nurse hasn’t revealed whether Hield would come off the bench or not in the rematch against New York on Tuesday just yet. While the expected return of Tyrese Maxey could land Hield back in the starting five to play alongside the star guard once again, the veteran sharpshooter’s success off the bench on Sunday could lead the Sixers to give it another look.