There are two frontcourt battles that will take center stage during Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. One is obvious: Anthony Davis will lead the Lakers into Philly, where he’ll be greeted by Joel Embiid. Two of the best big men in the league, Davis and Embiid won’t be matched up on one another for 48 minutes, but any time they are, all eyes will be on how Davis does against the reigning league MVP.
The other is a bit less obvious, but it also includes Davis. During his pregame media availability on Monday, Sixers reserve big man Paul Reed got asked about how he’s going to handle this assignment, and he made clear that he thinks Davis is prone to embellishing contact.
“He’s a big flopper, so make sure that I don’t get in foul trouble early. Can’t be too aggressive with him. You know, he’s gonna be flailing. So, gotta make sure that I stay out of foul trouble.” – Paul Reed on the keys to matching up with Anthony Davis pic.twitter.com/NzTXQsePix
— Austin Krell (@NBAKrell) November 27, 2023
Reed has endeared himself to Philly fans by being the exact sort of player who will say a star on the other team is a “big flopper,” so this isn’t an especially big surprise. Still, word of this got back to both coaches, and while Lakers coach Darvin Ham decided to wish Reed good luck in going up against Davis, Sixers coach Nick Nurse made clear that he had no clue Reed said this — just look at his reaction when he learns of the quote.
Darvin Ham on Paul Reed calling Anthony Davis a “big flopper” this morning: “He’s got to go guard him, I guess. … Best of luck, Paul”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 27, 2023
Nick Nurse was just made aware of Paul Reed’s comments on Anthony Davis today.
“That’s news to me. I’m going to have to go talk to Paul about that immediately after this.”
(He said a lot of very nice things about Anthony Davis after this) pic.twitter.com/mqLy1cP876
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 27, 2023
Davis will enter Monday’s game 22nd in the league with 5.9 free throw attempts per game.