NEW ORLEANS – Unlike some of his teammates, Timberwolves center Naz Reid had some experience tangling with Zion Williamson on the AAU circuit before both went to college – Reid to LSU, Williamson to Duke.
“Zion is a great player,” Reid said. “He’s one of my friends. We’ve gone at it 100 times and I mean, he does what he does best, and it’s not many people in this league that can stop him. I attempted to, and he did what he did.”
What he did was score 25 points, but the undrafted Reid held his own, scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds for his first career double-double, earning the praise of teammates and coaches along the way. Here’s what everyone said about Reid after the game:
Malik Beasley: “I told Naz that was a great performance,” Beasley said. “He’s been battling tough bigs every night. He got Joker [Denver’s Nikola Jokic], he’s had [Orlando’s Nikola] Vucevic and he’s only a rook, man. He’s learning every night.”
Jordan McLaughlin: Naz did really great. He did a lot of great things going against Zion today. Played him tough. Made it tough on him and we tried to help his back as much as we could and we got the win here.
D’Angelo Russell, who discussed Reid’s effectiveness in the Wolves’ zone defense: “I thought Naz was wide. He was big in that zone. He was in the middle. He made plays. Deflections. He boxed out. He competed in man and then when we switched zone. He still found a way to compete.”
Ryan Saunders: I thought Naz was really good. I thought Zion was really good too. A lot of the possessions were good defense, better offense in a lot of ways. But I was really proud with how Naz battled. Naz is going to be a force in this league. I’m a huge Naz Reid fan. His approach has been incredible with us. We’re really happy.