LA Clippers Mamba Mentality Challenge: Willie Reed

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 12: Willie Reed
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 12: Willie Reed /

A few weeks ago, Kobe Bryant issued “Mamba Challenges” to various public personalities. Our staff felt the need to issue our own challenges to each LA Clippers player. Next up is Willie Reed.

Getting Willie Reed for the minimum was an absolute steal, that much is clear. Just ask Dwyane Wade. But for many Clippers fans, Reed is still an unknown player. He hasn’t received much playing time, he’s young, and he’s traditional, meaning he can’t shoot the three. But while this move was flying under the radar, Reed was working hard to improve himself. In fact, he’s been very outspoken about his goal for the upcoming season.

"“I feel like I’ve gotten better every single year and my goal for next season is to win the Most Improved Player Award.”"

Well Willie, you asked for it.

The Challenge

We challenge Reed to achieve his goal of winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. He has all the physical and mental tools to do so, he’s in the right situation, and most importantly, he’s going to get his chance.

Reed averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds off the Miami bench last season, in just over 14 minutes per game. Although he’ll be in a similar situation with the Clippers, there will be plenty of room for his numbers to improve. Staggered lineups, great ball movement, and a hefty dose of lobs are going to be his fuel.

Related Story: Patrick Beverley's Mamba Mentality Challenge

His best chance to bring up his numbers, however, will come if he needs to start. Blake Griffin has had his fair share of injuries, and since Reed is listed as a PF-C, he could be asked to step in as Griffin’s replacement from time-to-time. A frontcourt duo of DeAndre Jordan and Willie Reed would certainly strike fear in the face of opposing bigs.

Reed has always capitalized when he’s given the chance, too. As a starter in 5 games last season, the 6’10” center posted averages of 14.8 points and 8.2 boards. His best game came against the Phoenix Suns, in which he recorded 22 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

He’s the kind of player that rises to the occasion, like Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell. He has full confidence in his own abilities. And since he’ll be practicing and learning with DJ, it’s safe to assume he’ll learn a few things.

Reed winning the Most Improved Player award is a stretch, but at the same time, it’s his to win.