The New York Knicks are set for a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers after the Sixers grinded out a 106-105 victory over the Miami Heat in the Play-In Tournament to earn the seven seed in the Eastern Conference. And according to Paul Reed, that's precisely what Philly was hoping to have happen, and he ended up giving his team's future opponent some great bulletin board material ahead of their matchup.

Depending on how the Play-In Tournament shook out, the 76ers were going to get a first-round matchup against the Knicks or the East's number one seed, the Boston Celtics. Given how dominant Boston has been this season, it's clear that both Philadelphia and Miami wanted to avoid playing them in the first round, and Reed admitted that he is thrilled that his team has earned what they perceive to be the “easier” matchup out of the two possibilities they had on their plate in the tournament.

Knicks get some extra motivation to beat the 76ers from Paul Reed

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) and guard Josh Hart (3) wait for the ball against the Orlando Magic in the second quarter at KIA Center.
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Well, as if they needed some more motivation to go out and win in the playoffs, the Knicks got hit with a pretty daring admission from Reed here. Not only does he admit that the Sixers were hoping to win and draw a first-round series with the Knicks, but he also claims that they are the easier team to play when compared to the Celtics.

While Boston did run laps around the rest of the league this year, finishing with a 64-18 record, that doesn't matter heading into the playoffs. Every team's record resets to 0-0 once the playoffs get underway, and while some squads may have more talent than others, anything can happen in the postseason.

The Knicks may be a bit beat up in the injury department, but they have played very well for much of the year, and they are not an opponent the 76ers should take lightly. With Jalen Brunson leading the way and a bevy of talented, two-way wings complimenting him, it's clear that New York has found their formula for success, and they are hoping it results in a deep playoff run.

It's also worth noting that while Philadelphia played a talented Miami team on Wednesday night, they struggled to get past them, even though their star forward Jimmy Butler suffered a seemingly serious MCL injury at the end of the first quarter that he ended up having to play through for the rest of the game. If they intend on beating the Knicks, they are going to have to play a lot better than they did in this one.

There's no shame in wanting a certain matchup in the playoffs, but it's certainly a bit of a risky move from Reed to openly come out and say that he thinks the Knicks are an easier opponent than the Celtics. You can bet New York is going to take those comments and run with them, and it will be interesting to see if Reed and the Sixers can back up these big words once the series gets underway.