The day is finally here. Perhaps the most highly-anticipated regular season game left on the docket for the Philadelphia 76ers tips off tonight at 7 p.m. from the Wells Fargo Center, as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons’ Sixers take on the loaded Brooklyn Nets.
The tilt will be the final time that Philly and Brooklyn – currently tied atop the NBA’s Eastern Conference at 37-17 – square off in the regular season, but many expect the squads to reunite in the conference finals with a shot at the NBA title on the line. With Simmons, an MVP candidate in Embiid, and All-Star snub Tobias Harris leading the way for head coach Doc Rivers’ crew, and James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving somehow on the same roster trying to get the Nets a championship, the storylines are endless.
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Despite Harden’s expected absence for the game – and possibly Durant and Irving too – there has still been tons of back-and-forth smack talk between players on both teams leading up to the battle. One voice that entered the mix Wednesday came from off the court, in FOX Sports and FS1 analyst Chris Broussard.
Broussard on Simmons: ‘He Hasn’t Won a Thing.’
During Wednesday morning’s edition of “First Things First” on FS1, Broussard compared Simmons and Harden as players. The analysis came in the wake of the Sixers’ defensive hound questioning whether their team even had a real rivalry with the Nets.
After his rant of over 100 seconds, Broussard did close by saying that he does “like Ben”, but he “had to keep it real.”
Broussard’s argument of Simmons not having won anything yet is mostly valid. During his one year playing for the LSU Tigers, Simmons helped the team finish 19-14, with an average 11-7 mark in SEC play. The Tigers lost in the conference semifinals, didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, and chose not to participate in any other form of postseason play.
After being drafted first overall by the Sixers in 2016, the Australian missed the entire year with a foot injury. His biggest win since entering the league was his Rookie of the Year nod the following season, but with nearly four full seasons now under his belt, Simmons has notably not made it past the second round of the NBA playoffs.
After listening to Broussard’s speech, program co-host Nick Wright showed that he would have none of what his guest was serving.
Like Broussard, Wright was able to show the other side of the coin at the end of his piece, noting that Simmons may have had an ulterior motive in making the original “rivalry” comment.
Broussard Says Embiid Is ‘out of the MVP Conversation’
Simmons isn’t the only Sixers star who Broussard has made bold comments about this week, as the longtime NBA commentator also brought up the MVP chances of the oft-injured Embiid during Tuesday’s program.
Broussard’s main point against Embiid becoming the Sixers first league MVP since Allen Iverson is simple; the big man has missed too much time. Through Philadelphia’s first 54 games, Embiid has missed 18 of them, which equals 33%.
Though the most recent Kia MVP Ladder on NBA.com placed Embiid third in the race – behind Denver Nuggets do-it-all center Nikola Jokic and Portland Trail Blazers half-court sharpshooter Damian Lillard – Broussard thinks there are too many other good candidates, such as Jokic, Lillard, and Chris Paul for Embiid to still be considered.