Joel Embiid Gets Brutally Honest on Sixers’ Effort in Loss to Warriors

Joel Embiid Warriors

Getty Joel Embiid looks to make a move in the post in a game against the Golden State Warriors.

Joel Embiid had some critical comments about his team’s effort after the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers lost a lead and dropped a key road game to the Golden State Warriors.

The Sixers wasted a stellar effort from Embiid, who scored 46 points on 13-for-23 shooting in the 120-112 loss on March 25. Embiid added nine rebounds and eight assists, but said after the game that his team’s effort just wasn’t enough to match the energetic Warriors.

Joel Embiid Opens Up About Philly’s Effort

Embiid was forced to take on a bigger role in Friday’s loss, as the Warriors were without a pair of key players. Guard James Harden was sitting as he nursed a sore Achilles, while swingman Jalen McDaniels was out due to right hip soreness.

Embiid said it was difficult for him and other teammates to pick up the slack, and criticized the team for drifting away from what had been successful earlier in the game.

“It’s tough when you got to do a lot offensively, and then defensively you also got to do a lot, whether it’s protecting the rim, edging and helping all over the place, especially against a team at that end that moves the ball, that makes your defense get in rotations all the time it’s tough but that’s my job and I love it,” Embiid said, via USA Today’s Sixers Wire. “Tonight could have been better, but we kinda went away from what was working at the start.”

The Sixers had a lead that stretched to 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter, and they were up nine when Embiid went to the bench for rest in the final frame. But the Warriors reeled off an 11-3 run while he was out, and Embiid said he wasn’t able to make the impact he wanted upon his return.

“When I came back in the fourth quarter, I didn’t go get the ball as much as I did when I can back in so that’s on me,” Embiid said. “Defensively I wasn’t as good as I should have been.”

The loss dropped the Sixers to 49-24, a game-and-a-half behind the Boston Celtics for No. 2 in the Eastern Conference. Though the Sixers have won eight of their last 10 games, they are now four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the top overall seed with little time remaining to catch them.

Joel Embiid Shares Update on Injury

Embiid had faced an injury scare earlier in the week, being pulled at halftime of the team’s March 22 win over the Chicago Bulls with little immediate explanation from the team. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers later said the MVP frontrunner was dealing with calf tightness and was expected to play for the current road trip.

After Friday’s game, Embiid told reporters that he was still planning to push through the discomfort.

“It’s okay, a little sore but whatever got to keep managing it to see how it feels tomorrow and you know the next few days,” Embiid said. “It’s all about making sure I’m healthy for playoffs so whatever gets me there healthy, that’s what we are going to do.”