It’s safe to say the Joel Embiid-James Harden experiment is going extremely well. Following a nifty bounce pass from Harden on a pick-and-roll, the Sixers’ new dynamic duo unveiled a celebration of sorts.
Embiid made a chopping motion while Harden banged the air drums after the play. Their chemistry was unflappable for a second straight game. Embiid’s bucket put Philly up 63-51 on the New York Knicks in the second quarter on Sunday afternoon. Embiid, Harden, and Tyrese Maxey had scored or assisted on the team’s first 57 points. The new-look, Ben Simmons-less Sixers look unstoppable.
Embiid went into the halftime locker room with 20 points, three rebounds, two assists. Harden had 15 points, five rebounds, 10 assists. And Maxey had eight points and six rebounds in the first half. There were audible MVP chants raining down on Embiid as he stepped to the free-throw line as hundreds of Sixers fans made the short train ride up to Madison Square Garden.
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Doc Rivers Has NSFW Exchange with Andre Drummond
Doc Rivers was the main reason why Andre Drummond signed with the Sixers in the offseason. The two have known each other for a long time and talked about teaming up over the years. Rivers didn’t want to include the Drummond in the trade for Harden but it was unavoidable. It’s all good. They continue to talk despite being on different teams, with Rivers describing a pretty funny exchange between them after a recent game.
“My comments to him are very sarcastic,” Rivers said prior to tip-off on Sunday. “He made a behind-the-back left-handed pass the other night that went out of bounds and I text him, ‘What the f***, like that, and he texted back, ‘I had to try it.’ But he’s playing well, man. I’m happy for him.”
Rivers went on to explain his deep-rooted relationship with Drummond. It stems from the Brooklyn Nets big man’s high school days as a favorite teammate of Rivers’ adopted son, Adam Jones, at St. Thomas More in Connecticut.
“It’s funny, we’ve talked now two or three times after games,” Rivers said. “We text back and forth, and for those of you who don’t know, Drum and I have had a relationship since he was in high school. He was the roommate of a kid I adopted.”
Ben Simmons Faking Injury to Avoid Philly Fans?
No one believed Ben Simmons would show up and play on March 10 on the road against the Sixers. There was a report that his holdout there was due to his unwillingness to play in front of the Philly fans. Then, the three-time All-Star expressed optimism he would be ready to go for that game. Again, no one believed it.
“I don’t know where his health is mentally, physically, I know he had other issues, and we all know he does not like to play in Philly,” Danny Green said. “If he does play in that game, I’d be highly surprised.”
And now Simmons is dealing with “back soreness,” per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, with no timetable for his Nets debut. Is he faking the injury? We would never dare accuse anyone of doing that. It does sound fishy, though.