Nothing wrong with Embiid fighting KAT

Dave Uram
October 30, 2019 - 9:34 pm
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I'm not one to condone violence, but Wednesday night in South Philadelphia, Joel Embiid proved the 76ers aren’t just a great basketball team, but a tough one as well. 

Knockout. 

“First of all, I ain’t no (expletive),” Embiid laughed postgame as he echoed the signature line of his fellow-bully ball teammate Mike Scott. 

The Sixers best player wasn’t only better than Minnesota’s top guy, Karl-Anthony Towns, but a simple tangle-up around the midway point of the third quarter resulted in both giants shoving, grabbing and ultimately tumbling with one another as if it were a no-holds bar heavyweight fight at sold out Wells Fargo Center. 

“There was not a lot of talking,” Embiid said. “It kind of happened out of no where. I just did what I had to do and I was just trying to control myself and it happens. 

Sixers beat the Timberwolves 117-95 for their first 4-0 start since Allen Iverson anchored a legendary 10-0 start the season he willed Philadelphia to The NBA Finals. 

That team had fight, grit and toughness that embodied Philadelphia. 

True, Embiid—who’s suffered injuries at almost every part of his body since coming to the NBA—could’ve been injured. But, he wasn’t. A teammate could’ve gotten hurt trying to break up the fight. But, they weren’t. And while Embiid’s rumble with Towns, as well as his celebratory shadowboxing after the fact, could get him suspended right before a west coast trip, his actions showed something much more in the big picture of things regarding this season—opposing teams enter Wells Fargo Center at their own risk. The fans loved Embiid’s actions. 

“I was built for this city and they were built for me,” Embiid said. “My reaction, the reaction and the love they have me, I can’t thank them enough. I really appreciate all the love. It’s crazy. That type of reaction, it was probably the loudest I’ve ever heard them and I heard the MVP chants from the locker room, so it was great.

“That’s what the city of Philadelphia is about,” Embiid said. “You gotta come in here, you gotta fight. You gotta play hard. You gotta be gritty. You gotta be a Broad Street Bully. That’s what it’s about.”

The way Embiid’s teammates, specifically Ben Simmons, immediately came to Embiid’s defense can’t be understated either. This is clearly a team, and one on a mission. 

“The team responding as they did—it is Philadelphia and life moves on,” head coach Brett Brown said. 

Sure, Embiid fighting Towns might cost the Sixers a game or two, or more, in the standing, which could factor into the all important final Eastern Conference seedings. But, through four contests of stifling defense and evolving offense, this deep Sixers team appears poised for a long run into May regardless, and potentially June. 

They can handle the big guy getting some nights off because of extra curricular activity. Why not boast a little muscle along the way and show the NBA who’s boss? Embiid is going to get nights off this season anyway because of load management. 

Don’t forget—back in the day, Julius Erving went toe-to-toe with Larry Bird. There’s nothing wrong with Embiid embodying the most popular fictional character in the history of Philadelphia—Rocky Balboa. 

Oh, and by the way, don’t let the stats cloud the truth. Not only did Embiid let Towns know that Wells Fargo Center is his house, but he also muscled his way in box score. Embiid finished with 19 points in 20 minutes while Towns scored 13 in 23. Embiid was better, and it wasn’t close. 

Ding Ding. 

Other Observations 

*Every Sixers starter finished in double figures scoring. The starting lineup continues to improve offensively and remain dominant defensively. 

*Furkan Korkmaz can potentially be a key member off the bench. Brown is on the record saying he’s looking for a “bomber” to come in and drill three’s. Korkmaz is aware of the quote after reading it. He scored 17 points Wednesday, going three-of-eight from distance. 

*The Sixers continue to dominate the boards. They out-rebounded Minnesota 56-34. Al Horford had 16 and James Ennis III 11 off the bench. Not to mention, the won the battle of the offensive rebounds, 16-6. 

*Joe Girardi is Mr. Popular. The new Phillies Manager Joe Girardi took in the game two days after being introduced to Philadelphia. He had a courtside seat, entering the main bowl shortly before tip-off, and immediately being greeted by numerous fans who wanted to take selfies. Joe is a good dude and was happy to take them. 

*Robert Covington played his first game as a visitor in Philadelphia because he was injured last season when the Timberwolves visited Wells Fargo Center. Covington was the first T-Wolve announced during player introductions, and to be honest, it was a little difficult on the floor to make out the reception for him. There were definitely some boos, not a lot, while the cheers weren’t overwhelming. To his credit, Covington immediately acknowledged the crowd. “Cov” had a weird relationship with the Philadelphia fans. Some, like our Program Director Spike Eskin, adored him. Others couldn’t stand miss after miss after miss. His elite defense and commitment to the organization through the process wasn’t enough.​

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