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PHILADELPHIA — 76ers star Joel Embiid heard Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse complain about the best way Embiid was officiated within the opener of the groups’ first-round playoff sequence on Saturday evening.
So, after Embiid completed with 31 factors, 11 rebounds and went 12-for-14 from the free throw line — taking extra free throws than Toronto’s total crew — in serving to the 76ers take a 2-0 sequence lead on Monday evening, the All-Star massive man had a short dialog with Nurse on the sideline in entrance of Toronto’s bench within the last seconds of Philadelphia’s 112-97 victory.
What was Embiid’s message?
“He is an awesome coach,” Embiid mentioned. “Clearly, he is been in a position to accomplish [a lot] and at all times been an enormous fan.
“However, I instructed him, respectfully, I instructed him to cease b—-ing about calls.”
Embiid had 19 of these 31 factors — and 12 of these free throw makes an attempt — within the first quarter, when he got here out with a transparent and apparent intent to impose his will on the sport.
Embiid received tousled with Raptors ahead OG Anunoby within the opening minutes, which induced each males to get technical fouls. After which, after Toronto jumped out to a fast 11-2 lead, the large man’s repeated forays into the paint put a number of Raptors into early foul hassle and noticed Embiid put on out a path to the foul line.
“If you are going to triple-team any person all sport, they’re sure to get to the free throw line, or if you are going to push them off and attempt to maintain them and and all that stuff, they’re sure and get to the free throw line,” Embiid mentioned. “So I really feel like each foul was legit and possibly ought to have been extra, actually.”
For his half, Nurse disagreed. After saying following Recreation 1 that Embiid hit his gamers with three or 4 elbows to the face — and may’ve been referred to as for a number of different fouls — Nurse mentioned there was some slight enchancment on Tuesday, however not sufficient.
“A minimum of there wasn’t as many elbows thrown to the face tonight that we needed to endure,” Nurse mentioned, tongue firmly planted in his cheek after expressing his frustration with what he thought was a transparent cost name that was referred to as a block on the ground after which was not overturned when he challenged it.
As for his dialog with Embiid — one Nurse was requested about throughout his postgame availability, previous to Embiid’s subsequent response — he mentioned there wasn’t a lot to it.
“He was saying to me that, ‘I will hold making all of the free throws for those who hold fouling,'” Nurse mentioned. “And I mentioned, ‘Nicely, you may need to.’
“However an excellent participant, man. I received numerous respect for him. He is actually enjoying nice right here. There’s nothing there however us making an attempt to compete in opposition to him and him making an attempt to compete in opposition to us.”
The competitors, to this point, is fairly one-sided. Toronto was with out standout rookie Scottie Barnes after he sprained his left ankle in Recreation 1, whereas Thaddeus Younger performed 8 ineffective minutes with a sprained left thumb.
Gary Trent Jr., in the meantime, performed a reasonably hopeless 10 minutes after spending the previous two days away from the crew with a non-COVID sickness, lacking all three pictures he took and committing 4 fouls. Nurse admitted after the sport Trent most likely should not even have performed, although he credited him for giving it a go.
However Philadelphia, led by Embiid, imposed its bodily will on Toronto for a second consecutive sport. Tyrese Maxey (23 factors, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and Tobias Harris (20 factors, 10 rebounds) performed nice for a second consecutive sport, and Philadelphia once more received the rebounding battle (41-35), shot 52% from the sphere and took 30 free throws to Toronto’s 12.
All of it, although, began with Embiid, who roared on a number of events within the first quarter as he and Fred VanVleet, who scored 15 of his 20 factors within the first, traded baskets all through the quarter — one Toronto finally wound up ending forward by one, 33-32.
And whereas Philadelphia would pull forward for good early within the second when it outscored the Raptors by 12 factors with Embiid on the bench, it was his bodily play within the first quarter that set the tone for his teammates to observe.
“He let or not it’s recognized that we’re not going to take the bullying,” 76ers ahead Danny Inexperienced mentioned.
Embiid additionally picked up a few accidents all through the sport, hurting his left foot late within the first half and his proper (capturing) elbow within the third quarter. He performed by means of each accidents, nonetheless, and downplayed the importance of both impacting his availability for Recreation 3 on Wednesday in Toronto.
In reality, Embiid already was wanting ahead to the problem of going up 3-0 on this Raptors crew, and mentioned he expects there could possibly be much less fouls referred to as in Recreation 3 — and that he’ll be able to play much more aggressively, if he must, to be able to be certain that he retains going to the road.
“Referees and the league, they’re the identical approach,” Embiid mentioned. “They’re gonna come within the subsequent sport, and they’re gonna let stuff go. So, you realize, they are not going to name, you realize, some fouls. So, in that case, you bought to be extra aggressive. You bought to go to the rim with extra energy. You bought to leap over folks, you bought to attempt to end by means of contact. As a result of that is an adjustment when it is the refs coming in and [the Raptors are] complaining.
“I have been doing this for fairly some time to know that is often the adjustment. [And] in that case, that is the place I might change into extra bodily.”
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