In a 117-109 win at the Wells Fargo Center, the Philadelphia 76ers (10-5) topped the Boston Celtics (8-5), handing them their fifth loss of the regular season, however, there was one glaring statistical discrepancy between the two teams that didn’t sit well with a visiting Celtics player.
Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid’s stellar double-double (42 points, 10 rebounds) was certainly a game-changer. However, it was the fact that Joel connected on 17-of-21 free-throws that irked Celtics star Marcus Smart, who didn’t hold back while addressing the media following Wednesday’s loss.
Marcus was visibly frustrated. He claims referees are buying into Embiid embellishing contact and it’s coerced officials to whistle unnecessary personal fouls against the Celtics while Boston struggled to make consistent trips to the charity stripe.
Marcus Smart On Joel Embiid Flopping: ‘He Flails And Gets The Call’
In fact, Embiid’s whopping 21 free-throw attempts alone surpassed the Celtics’ (13-of-20) night as a team.
“It’s tough. It is tough, especially when we’ve got our hands up a lot of the times and he flails and gets the call,” Smart said. “And then, down on the other end we’ve got our guys attacking the rim, getting a lot more contact and we’re just not getting the whistle. It’s tough to play like that, it’s tough. If If the roles were reversed, I’d do it every time. I mean, I’d be on too if every time I threw my arms up or every time I got touched I’m going to the free-throw line. I mean, it’s kind of hard to get into a rhythm that was when you shoot 21 free-throws alone and they allow you to hack on the other end.
“It’s tough, but we battled. The team did a good job. We were right there to give ourselves a win and try to run it back on Friday.”
Joel Embiid Claps Back At Marcus Smart: ‘C’mon, I’m Sure He Knows Himself And He Knows His Game, Too. He Does A Lot Of that’
Smart’s postgame comments floated from the visitors’ locker room and down the hall to Embiid, himself, who, as you can imagine, already had a witty comeback ready, locked, and loaded to fire back.
“Marcus Smart just told me that I flail a lot? C’mon, I’m sure he knows himself and he knows his game, too. He does a lot of that,” Embiid said. “And I don’t think I do. I mean, if you watch basketball and you’re a student of the game and if you actually pay attention during the game, we all see. Every single foul, I get fouled. They probably don’t call all of them like the last one. There was three minutes left, I went up and that was a foul and they knew it, but they didn’t call it.
“So, there’s a lot that they don’t call and there’s a lot that they call because you have to.”
The Celtics and Sixers will run it back in Philly on Friday. Stay tuned, this could be a regular-season classic in the making.