HomeViralBattle Royale: Patrick Beverley and Paul Reed Unleash Havoc, Push Nuggets to...

Battle Royale: Patrick Beverley and Paul Reed Unleash Havoc, Push Nuggets to the Brink!

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Paul Reed and Patrick Beverley filled the voids left by Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey’s absences in the 76ers’ loss to the Nuggets.

The Philadelphia 76ers‘ matchup with the Denver Nuggets was zapped of its hype when Joel Embiid was as late of a scratch as a player can be, joining Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and numerous other key Sixers on the inactive list. But the rest of the squad made it a game in a stellar effort that came up short of a victory.

Patrick Beverley (17 points and 11 assists on 6-12 shooting) and Paul Reed (30 points and 13 rebounds on 14-21 shooting) were marvelous for the 76ers in the 111-105 defeat. Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 25 points and Marcus Morris Sr.’s 17 points were key, too. On the other side, Nikola Jokic notched 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists while Jamal Murray recorded 23 points and seven assists.

The 76ers ran a diet Joel Embiid-Patrick Beverley two-man game with PatBev and Bball Paul and it nearly worked. Once Jokic sat up and started really going to work, the Nuggets pulled away and took the win. Let’s dive into the film.

His name is the name of the sport

Reed has a lot of missed jump shots in ugly fashion this season. He’ll break out a jumper once or twice a game and some of his misses have clanked well off the mark. His atypical release, where it looks like he shoots from his chest with his shooting elbow bent at a funky angle, doesn’t inspire much confidence. But in this game, the clunky process generated beautiful results: a career-high of 30 points on 14-21 shooting.

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The Nuggets started the game in drop coverage against Reed. It would have been foolish not to, as he hasn’t shown any consistency with his shooting. But he made them pay on his first shot of the game, opening up the scoring for the 76ers with a shot just behind the block.

Reed’s sensational game looked easy because he made it that way. He didn’t try to do anything but take the shots the Nuggets gave him. The big man has become known for occasionally rumbling, bumbling, stumbling with the ball — sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. This game was not the time for that and he knew it. Reed had his jumper going in early and he rode it all the way to the first 30-burger of his career.

When Reed didn’t pull it, he was quick with his decision to peruse the paint. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope about to invade his space to shoot, he drives by him and drops in a layup off the same-side foot as his shooting hand over one of the veterans who played over him in years past, DeAndre Jordan.

By the end of the game, Jokic knew he couldn’t let Reed openly fire away. The Nuggets still had to play some type of drop coverage to prevent open drives to the rim but watch as Jokic darts up to Reed as soon as he gets the pass and takes a big swing at the ball.

Reed still followed shots on the offensive glass, with his most notable offensive rebound being this putback dunk. He brings the ball back from below the hoop and through the rim in a single leap. It was a fitting way for one of the most hard-nosed glass cleaners in the league to tie his previous career high.

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They don’t call him Bball Paul for nothing.

PatBev on the prowl

Eight of Beverley’s 11 assists went to Reed in his spectacular outing. Often left to pickup ball-handling duties when Maxey sits, PatBev once again rose to the occasion without the 76ers stars to lead the team. Both times have resulted in a loss but it can’t be said that he didn’t give it his all.

Beverley is more spry than his opponents may think. Due to some combination of his age, his lack of reputation as a scorer or both, his quick first step allows him to get by his defender and attract the attention of others. That allows guys like Oubre to make smart cuts when his defender turns his head to him. It also allowed him to drop pocket passes to Reed repeatedly.

It wasn’t just that Beverley was open because of his lack of a reputation as a shooter. Beverley did a lot of that work by using his screens expertly, making sure his man ran into Reed each time by attacking off his shoulder closely and accelerating quickly off the catch. Whatever different coverage the Nuggets showed, PatBev had an answer.

When confronted with ice coverage, where the defender aims to take away the middle of the floor, Beverley waited until Reed flipped the screen to get him a clean seem to attack straight ahead instead of an angle heading to his right. Beverley sunk the open three.

When his defender goes under his screen and isn’t quick to meet Beverley at the spot, he charges ahead, slams on the breaks to get the dropping big man faked out of his shoes and scored right at the rim.

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When the defender goes over the screen, Beverley waits for the space to open before attacking. Christain Braun is waiting to help at the elbow if Beverley blows by Michael Porter Jr. The combination of Beverley not darting right ahead and Braun’s man, Danuel House Jr., making a slight relocation, he pulls back on the help, unlocking floater range for PatBev.

The 76ers getting star-level production out of Beverley and Reed is an alignment of the stars that may never be seen again. It is to be cherished, even if not expected again.

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