Joel Embiid is playing through a lot of pressure at the moment. The Philadelphia 76ers stunned everyone by easily capturing a 3-0 lead in their first-round NBA playoff series with the Toronto Raptors. Embiid even let Raptors superfan Drake know that the team was coming for the sweep. He may soon be eating his words.
Just a handful of days later, the series has taken a dramatic swing. The Raptors crushed the Sixers, 103-88 last night. The series is now three games to two, with all the momentum in Toronto’s favor.
After the loss, Joel Embiid spoke to reporters. Embiid expressed his frustration with both head coach Doc Rivers and teammate James Harden. Joel thinks Harden needs to be more aggressive.
“I mean, I’ve been saying all season since he got here, he needs to be aggressive and he needs to be himself. That’s not really my job, that’s probably on coach to talk to him and tell him to take more shots. Especially if they’re going to guard me the way they’ve been guarding. But that’s not really my job.
But we all need to be better offensively. We missed a bunch of wide-open shots, at times I just felt like we just invited, when I was getting doubled, we were not aggressive attacking the ball. We just kept moving the ball around the perimeter, and that gave them time to recover, and that’s why we were not able to get anything out of it. So if that’s what they want to keep doing, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”
Joel Embiid can’t be expected to carry the team on his own. Once the season ends, he will have surgery to repair a very painful thumb injury. If things keep going how they are, that surgery could be just days away.
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