Paul Reed surprised to be serving as Sixers backup center behind Joel Embiid

NEW YORK — Even Paul Reed is quite surprised.

Conventional knowledge instructed that Reed would be the 76ers’ third-string center after the purchase of Montrezl Harrell.

The trust was once that Harrell, the NBA’s 2020 6th guy of the 12 months, would be penciled in as Joel Embiid’s backup. Instead, Reed was once No. 2 finally week’s coaching camp at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. And with Embiid having the evening off, Reed began in Monday’s 127-108 preseason-opening victory over the Brooklyn Nets on the Barclays Center.

The third-year participant completed with 10 issues on 3-for-4 capturing in conjunction with 5 rebounds, 3 steals and one block in 20 mins of motion. Reed sat out the fourth quarter.

“It felt great,” he mentioned. “You know, I was just out there, getting my teammates open, rolling hard, playing hard, crashing the glass hard.”

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But Reed realizes he has one thing to reinforce.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder were given winded all through the sport. He’ll use the following couple of days to paintings on his conditioning and be sure that doesn’t occur once more.

Sixers trainer Doc Rivers mentioned he’ll use a mixture of Reed, Harrell, and P.J. Tucker to again up Embiid all through the season. So a long way, Reed has been getting the reps at that place whilst additionally enjoying energy ahead.

“I was a little shocked,” he mentioned of being the backup center. “But at the same time, I still want to stay humble, you know? I don’t want to get too bigheaded, you know?

“I want to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing so I can keep earning more trust and keep getting more minutes.”

But the end result of Monday’s exhibition sport was once a long way from stunning to the previous DePaul standout.

In addition to Embiid, the Sixers had been with out starters James Harden and P.J. Tucker and reserve Danuel House, whilst the Nets performed stars Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.

Although it was once an exhibition sport, it was once simply any other instance of the Sixers stepping up with their absolute best avid gamers sitting out.

“I think we’ve just got a whole bunch of dogs on our team that are ready to eat,” Reed mentioned. “So they get that opportunity, we all know what we have to do.”

Rookie two-way participant Julian Champagnie was once one of the vital spectacular Sixers. The Staten Island local, who performed at St. John’s, completed with 15 issues on 5-for-10 capturing — together with going 3-of-7 on three-pointers — in his first sport on any stage within the Barclays Center. He additionally had a team-high six rebounds in conjunction with 3 assists and two steals whilst logging all 18 of his mins after intermission.

His efficiency was once a drastic development from how he performed in July for the Sixers’ summer time league group.

“Summer league was all right for me,” Champagnie mentioned. “It was kind of a learning curve. So I had a bunch of weeks to stay in Philly and get acclimated with what the guys are doing and playing five-on-five and getting used to the physicality and what my role would be.”

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Adjusting to the NBA has been an up-and-down procedure for the two-time All-Big East Conference variety. But coaching camp wasn’t as unhealthy as he concept it could be after he put within the time with teammates the ultimate couple of months.

“It was a lot of learning,” Champagnie mentioned. “It was a lot of learning the plays, learning the defensive schemes and stuff like that. So just a learning curve still. It always going to be a learning curve every day.”

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