Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 2-0 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night with a dominant performance. Embiid almost recorded a triple-double, scoring 20 points, pulling down 19 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. Defensively, he was a force to be reckoned with, swatting away three blocks in 37 minutes of action. After the game, the Sixers superstar had a playful jab at Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I probably need the Memphis scorekeeper in Philly”
– Joel Embiid on only having 3 blocks tonight 😅
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) April 18, 2023
“Only three blocks? Damn, I need the Memphis scorekeeper,” Embiid quipped, referring to the controversy surrounding the Grizzlies scorekeeper allegedly padding Jackson’s defensive stats earlier this season.
Earlier this season, a theory emerged that the Memphis scorekeeper had been inflating Jaren Jackson Jr.’s block totals during home games to boost his chances of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. However, this theory was later debunked by the NBA, which confirmed that all NBA stats are reviewed and verified. Jaren Jackson Jr.’s blocks were found to be legitimate. NBA senior vice president of league operation communications Tim Frank released a statement on January 28, addressing the post and putting the speculation to rest.
Embiid’s comment highlights his awareness of the scandal and his willingness to poke fun at it. Interestingly, this came on the same night that Jackson was named the Defensive Player of the Year, which may have been another reason for Embiid’s quip. Embiid himself was a strong contender for the award, receiving one first-place vote and two third-place votes.
Embiid’s wit and humor have been a constant feature of his public persona, and he has previously made headlines for his playful jabs at other players. His latest quip only adds to the list of memorable comments he has made throughout his career.
As for the game itself, Embiid’s dominant performance played a significant role in the Sixers’ 96-84 win over the Nets. With a 2-0 series lead, the Sixers will look to close out the series when they head to Brooklyn for Game 3.
Joel Embiid Prioritizes Winning Over Scoring in 76ers’ Playoff Run, While James Harden Struggles to Find His Touch
Joel Embiid might not be having his usual high-scoring games, but he’s still helping the Philadelphia 76ers win their post-season games. After their 96-84 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Embiid said in a post-game interview that he doesn’t just love scoring, but enjoys doing whatever it takes to win.
He added that he believes in playing the right way and is willing to make passes or score depending on the situation. In the same game, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris combined for 53 points to help secure the win.
Despite their early success, the Sixers could still be in trouble if James Harden doesn’t improve his efficiency. In Game 1, he shot just over 38%, and in Game 2, he shot an even worse 23%. If Harden continues to struggle, the Sixers may have a tough time against either the Celtics or the Hawks in the next round.
Although Embiid is on track to win back-to-back scoring titles and an MVP award, he would consider this season a waste if the team doesn’t win a championship. To have a shot at the title, the Sixers need Embiid to return to his dominant form when it matters the most. But if Harden continues to struggle, they might need to change their approach and give the ball to Embiid more often on offense.