Philadelphia 76ers: What more does Paul Reed have to do?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Paul Reed showed more potential in five minutes of action at the end of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ 122-96 win over the Los Angeles Clippers than DeAndre Jordan displayed in his 15 minute run versus his former team.

… do you know what? Scratch that. Paul Reed showed more potential in his five minutes of run versus the LA Clippers than Jordan has in his entire time in a (Sixers) red, white, and blue uniform, which is a grand total of *gulp* 141 minutes if you’re keeping track at home.

Mind you; this is nothing new. Reed played well when given some run behind Andre Drummond and/or Joel Embiid at the five earlier in the season and even flashed potential playing at the four spot alongside the aforementioned duo, Jordan, or even Paul Millsap, who helped to form a very dynamic duo in their first game together.

But for whatever reason – Read: Doc RiversDaryl Morey‘s massive steal at the tail end of the 2020 NBA Draft just can’t seem to see the court, no matter how many games he dominates at the G-League level. No, until the decision is finally made that DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap are net negatives every time they take the court for the Philadelphia 76ers and that the pride of DePaul gives the team the best chance to win their minutes without Joel Embiid, there will be no BBall for Paul Reed, which is a darn shame if you ask me… or John Hollinger.

The Philadelphia 76ers need to at least try Paul Reed with James Harden.

Paul Reed and James Harden have shared the court for exactly four minutes since the duo became teammates in the middle of February.

That’s… not a lot, but wait, it gets worse. Not only have Reed and Harden played just four minutes together, but that’s over three games, with an average minutes-per-game of 1.33 minutes per contest.

… yikes.

When Harden was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets on that fabled Thursday afternoon, folks gushed over how his addition would be beneficial to different players on the team. Joel Embiid would benefit from oh so many perfect pick-and-roll passes – which he has – Tyrese Maxey would thrive with a second ball-handler in the starting lineup – he has – and even Matisse Thybulle would be able to focus on defensive thanks to a more streamlined offensive role, which hasn’t quite been true, as his offensive game has exploded since “The Beard’s” addition, but the results have been a net positive nonetheless.

But one player who hasn’t received the benefit some folks expected from Harden’s addition has been Reed, largely because he hasn’t had a chance to. On paper, Reed has a game very similar to many of the bigs Harden has played with in the past and should theoretically benefit from his presence as a result. Reed has good size at 6-foot-9, 210 pounds, can switch defensively across multiple positions, and has the added bonus of being athletic enough to make plays around the rim as both a lob catcher and as a shot blocker.

Factor in the effort Reed puts into his rebounding, which remains one of the Sixers’ biggest deficiencies 73 games into the regular season, and the prospects of keeping Mr. Ball on the bench – or in Delaware – just flies in the face of the concept of competition and the expectation that effort/production will bread opportunity. Does Reed make some mistakes? You bet, his botched dunk will live on in Sixers infamy but much of that has to do with him trying to do too much with the limited opportunities he’s presented, as opposed to a player who simply makes a business decision on a random weeknight in March.

If given the choice, the former is preferable every time.

Next. Daryl Morey claps back on free throw nonsense. dark

Who knows, maybe Paul Reed’s performance versus Doc Rivers’ former team – putting up eight points, three steals(!), two rebounds, and a block in only five minutes – will be enough to open the Hall of Fame coach’s eyes to the possibilities ahead. Maybe he’ll see how Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz parlayed their huge game versus the Miami Heat into solid contributions from that point on and will finally give Reed enough run to make or break his spot in the rotation moving forward. Will it happen? I mean, probably not, but unless Reed becomes James Harden’s new wingman for all of his off-court escapades, I just don’t know what else he could do to earn regular playing time for the Philadelphia 76ers.