Saturday, May 21 2022

Regarding the mounting Ben Simmons trade rumors across the NBA, Joel Embiid has finally broke his silence. “I love playing with Ben,” Embiid posted on Twitter. “Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done. It’s on me personally.” That last part was a surprising comment. “I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win.” These tweets were posted after one report suggested the existence of a possible rift between the 27-year-old center and Simmons. It seems to be false information, according to the fifth-year player.

A quality leader on any team needs to accept blame for defeat. Likewise, the leader should receive full credit for wins as well. Head coach Doc Rivers helped coach the Philadelphia 76ers to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, with an overall record of 49-23 (.681). So, what was the problem? The team played great in the regular season. Though, the hot 76ers had quite the meltdown in last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The 76ers entered this series as heavy favorites. In five of the seven games, Embiid led all other players in scoring. While the Hawks defeated the Sixers 128-124 in Game 1 of the series, they proceeded to drop the next two games. The biggest disappointment was the team’s 103-96 loss in Game 7 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Embiid remembers when he was booed

In Game 7, scoring only 96 points in today’s NBA was bad enough, but Simmons dropped the ball completely during crunch time. He finished his performance with five points, eight rebounds and 13 assists. Needless to say, Simmons was booed. Embiid carried the roster to the end, scoring 31 points in this final elimination game. Moreover, Embiid commented on a time when he was booed at home over a lackluster performance. On Twitter, he tweeted out: “I haven’t forgotten but 2 years ago, I got booed, people in Philly wanted me to be traded. I even shushed them.”

In Game 5, the 76ers blew a 26-point lead at home. Based on historical statistics, NBA teams had won 117 consecutive games when leading by at least 18 points heading into the fourth quarter. This statistic also includes 159 consecutive games in regulation. The 76ers became only the sixth team to lose a playoff game after leading by at least 18 points going into the fourth quarter.

This was also not the first time the 76ers collapsed in the postseason. In the first round of the 1984 NBA Playoffs, the No. 3-seeded Sixers lost to the No.6-seeded New Jersey Nets in a five-game series. It was one of their most disappointing playoff-series losses in franchise history. Although, that might be all a matter of opinion, considering the 2001 NBA Finals versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last season, Embiid averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. The four-time All-Star signed a multi-year contract extension with the organization on August 17, 2021. He earned $29,542,010 in the 2020-21 season, and the star will make $31,579,390 next season. The Cameroon has a player option of $54,228,300 in the 2026-27 season.

Source: Basketball Insider


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