Joel Embiid Takes Shot at Celtics Star Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Boston Celtics have been on an impressive run as of late, winning six games in a row. One of their more notable wins came against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, and an interaction between Tatum and Morant was a highlight of the contest.

Morant tried to convince Tatum to miss free throws late in the game, but Tatum said that “he had to make it home to put Deuce to sleep,” according to the Grizzlies guard.

Well, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid may have just taken a subtle shot at Tatum.

“Joel Embiid said he told Lauri Markkanen he had to put his son Arthur to sleep when he shot those free throws late in the first quarter, so he wanted him to miss to avoid overtime.

“Embiid admitted he lied – he said Arthur is in bed every night at 7:30pm sharp,” tweeted Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Markkanen missed two free throws with under 30 seconds to go in the Utah Jazz’s 105-98 loss to the 76ers. If he had made them, it would have pulled the Jazz within two points, but instead, the 76ers were able to seal a win.

Fans were quick to point out the similarities between Embiid’s comment and the one made by Tatum just one week ago.

Celtics Legend Praises Tatum

While Embiid may have joked with Tatum, the Celtics superstar has been receiving a lot of praise elsewhere. Most notably, he got some kind words from NBA Hall-of-Famer and Celtics legend Kevin Garnett.

Garnett took to Twitter, claiming that Tatum will be the MVP this season.

“First off, Jayson Tatum for MVP. He’s playing unbelievable,” Garnett said. “We already knew that Jayson Tatum could score the ball with the best of them, right? But I see this year that he’s taken another step. I think in the last four or five games, I’ve seen his defensive efforts be a lot greater than what I’ve seen. He seems to be a lot more locked in on both ends, and he’s playing like a top-five player.”

So far this season, Tatum has appeared in all 12 games for the Celtics and played 37.5 minutes per game. He’s averaging 32.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on 50.0% shooting from the field and 38.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Celtics Analyst Echos MVP Chatter

Garnett isn’t the only person claiming that Tatum will be the MVP this year, though. Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston also stated that Tatum should be in the running, noting his dominant performance against the Detroit Pistons as a prime reason why.

“The Celtics were missing an entire starting five worth of talent tonight, and Jayson Tatum went out there on the second night of a back-to-back and played 40-plus minutes, and absolutely carried them to a win that at times didn’t seem so assured. To me, it’s a two-man conversation right now, it’s Giannis and it’s Tatum because of the impact on both ends…He leads his team to victories on nights where you just don’t have any other option and gets them to the finish line,” Forsberg said.

Boston was missing Jaylen Brown, Malcolm Brogdon, and Al Horford against the Pistons, as well as Robert Williams and Danilo Gallinari.

In their absence, Tatum dropped 43 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, leading the Celtics to a 117-108 win. It was an MVP-caliber performance.

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