Former Sixth Man of Year Accomplishes Unique Feat in Sixers Debut

Montrezl Harrell, Sixers

Getty Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets tries to keep the ball from Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half during a preseason game at Barclays Center on October 03, 2022.

After an offseason filled with change, there were eyes on several new members of the Philadelphia 76ers during their preseason debut. One of the players that fans were most buzzing to see was Montrezl Harrell, whom the Sixers signed to a two-year contract worth $5.2 million this offseason. The 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year made his debut with the Sixers in their 127-108 preseason victory over the Brooklyn Nets. With Joel Embiid resting in the matchup it was expected that Harrell would get an extended run, however, this did not prove to be the case.

In his 12 minutes of play, Harrell scored 10 points and added five rebounds. However, he made his presence felt by using up his six fouls and being disqualified from the matchup in this short amount of time. This is far from the quickest foul-out in NBA history as Bubba Wells fouled out in just two minutes and 43 seconds during the 1997 season. Harrell did come close to breaking what may be a preseason record as the quickest foul-out in recent preseason history was, former Sixers backup center, Dwight Howard lasted just 13 minutes of play last preseason. In addition to the six personal fouls, Howard also picked up a technical and flagrant foul in one of the stranger sequences in recent NBA history.

Harrell’s On-Court Play:

While his exit may not have been as dramatic in fashion, Harrell still made a strong impression with his play. He connected on three of his five shots from the field and also added three assists in the matchup. Harrell provided impressive energy off the bench and gave the team the lift they were searching for.

The grit and effort that was missing on the Sixers are expected to be brought on by Harrell this season. While the team will hope for him to center this in a way that allows him to remain on the court for longer, his physicality made a positive impact. Despite it being a preseason matchup, the Louisville product did not hesitate to scream in the opponent’s face, slap away a helping hand, and put this body on the line. His fierce competitiveness is sure to make him a fan favorite in Philadelphia at a rapid rate.

Sixers Big Man Competition

The seven-year veteran will be in the mix for the Sixers’ backup center minutes this season. His main competition will be Paul Reed who primarily served in this role during last year’s playoff run. Reed showed some signs of growth at the start of his third NBA season. He played the most minutes of any Sixer (which is likely correlated to Harrell’s foul trouble) and ended with 10 points, five rebounds, three steals, and a block while shooting three for four from the field. Reed is also known to struggle with foul trouble.

P.J. Tucker, who is also expected to play some small-ball center minutes this season, sat out the matchup along with Joel Embiid and James Harden. Danuel House also missed the matchup with a stiff neck. The last player in the mix for big man minutes is Charles Bassey who played 14 minutes in the matchup. The 21-year-old added four points, nine rebounds (five offensive), two assists, a steal, and a block in just 14 minutes of play. Bassey still must officially earn his spot on the Sixers roster, but efforts like this will help. It is a pleasant change to see the bench minutes so competitive on the Sixers’ roster and the opening preseason victory was a success for the team overall.

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