Every prospect strutting their stuff in the NBA D-League is there as a means of figuring out what they're niche can potentially be in the NBA. An example could be the perimeter shooting skills of RGV's Troy Daniels, or the overall inside defense that have transformed the likes of Iowa's Jarvis Varnado or Springfield's Willie Reed into top-notch prospects.
That specific defensive niche helped Reed earn an NBA call-up from the Memphis Grizzlies in the latter parts of the 2012-13 season. As Reed continues his second season with the Armor, his solid overall play has also continued into this season as well. He remains one of the better offensive rebounders (3.6 offensive boards per game) and overall defenders in all of the NBADL.
Apparent from the past few seasons with the likes of Hilton Armstrong, Tim Ohlbrecht and the aforementioned Jarvis Varnado, there's a big market in the NBA for defensive minded centers out of the minor league. As Reed waits and anticipates his next move, he recently spoke with RidiculousUpside.com about his overall on-court approach and current NBA players that he compares his game to.
Continue reading below for the rest of his interview. To read part one, go on and click here.
Willie Reed Defensive Compilation (via Dakota Schmidt)
RidiculousUpside.com: You have a very classic type of playing style. Was there a particular NBA player that you modeled your game after?
Reed: As far as modeling my game after somebody, Tracy McGrady was my favorite player when I was a young kid. But as I grew taller, I knew that I wasn't going to be quite like him. As I grew older and found my niche, I realized that I could possibly be a player like Tyson Chandler or Serge Ibaka--- both of whom are energy guys who patterned their game after somebody like Dennis Rodman. Just making sure that you can do everything you can to be a part of the team's success.
Willie Reed Offense Compilation (via Dakota Schmidt)
RU: Since you arrived in Springfield, your offensive game has improved immensely. What steps have you taken to continue making strides on that side of the ball?
Reed: I talk about defense a lot, because that's my identity and who I am. This is the NBA Development League and I've always had some nice moves and have been able to put the ball in the basket.
But this league is about development, and this is where you try to improve yourself. I've worked with the coaching staff to work on my moves, my touch, and taking hook shots. I'm making sure that I work on my touch and work on where I'm going to get my shots at over and over again, so it will become natural when I do it during a game.
RU: A majority of D-Leaguers are called up because they have a specific skill that an NBA team recognizes can help improve their squad. If you were called up to the NBA again, what's the main thing you bring with one that NBA teams should be interested in?
Reed: I think my skills will be what they have always been. I'm an athletic, defensive-minded big man who will be in the right position to block shots and collect rebounds. After learning the game from Rick Majerus, I know I will be in the right position and that's something that an NBA team can rely on. On offense, I'm going to run the floor, set screens and roll, to try to draw in the defense so we can open up shots for shooters. I also believe that I have the skills to finish around the rim.