Sixers’ Joel Embiid Throws Bizarre Criticism at Toronto Raptors

Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam

Getty All-Star Joel Embiid battles Pascal Siakam during a Sixers-Raptors game.

Context is everything when it comes to post-game press conferences. Following Monday night’s 104-101 overtime win, Joel Embiid was trying to explain how a rough shooting night from De’Anthony Melton didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. He wants the young sniper to keep jacking up shots.

Melton was a horrendous 3-of-14 from the field in that one. Then, in a bizarre twist of words, Embiid seemed to take a dig at the Toronto Raptors. The Philadelphia 76ers big man called them out for not caring about winning, pointing his finger at the way the Raptors play defense.

“But when you play a team like Toronto, they don’t really care,” Embiid said, via Clutch Points. “It seems like, most of the time, they don’t care about winning. They just want to shut down the other star players. But when you play that, you got to be ready all night. You got to stay alert and have the confidence of just keep shooting it and hope that you make them when they come, and that’s what he did tonight.”

Embiid endured a rough shooting night himself (6-of-16), although he was able to exert his will from the free-throw line. He went 14-of-15 at the charity stripe and finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 21 points including 5 timely 3-pointers. However, the star of the night was Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam who scored a game-high 38 points. He also dished out 6 dimes and collected 15 boards.

Embiid Says Sixers Aren’t Perfect Despite Win Streak

The Sixers are in the middle of a five-game winning streak after beating the Lakers, Hornets, Kings, Warriors, and Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. They have vaulted up to No. 5 in the Eastern Conference standings. That should have everyone puffing their chests, right? Not necessarily. Their last two triumphs have been what many in the business categorize as ugly wins, and Embiid didn’t sugarcoat anything when asked about it.

“I mean we got the win, but we know it’s not just about the last two performances,” Embiid said after Monday night’s victory. “Even during this win streak we can still be much better as a team. I think we were playing great tonight. Offensively, we had a couple of great stretches, defensively I thought we were pretty good, but we know where we want to end up so we can never be satisfied with those type of results.

“I think we are getting better every single day. We’re not perfect — every single night it’s not going to be perfect, but as long as you know we have the mentality of wanting to learn and wanting to get better, I think that’s what matters.”

Next Up, Detroit Pistons at Wells Fargo Center

The Sixers (17-12) have two more games remaining on this seven-game homestand. They will host the dismal Detroit Pistons (8-25) on Wednesday night with a chance to push their winning streak to six games. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers have ruled Tyrese Maxey (fractured foot) out, while listing Furkan Korkmaz (non-COVID illness) questionable on the official injury report. Julian Champagnie, Saben Lee, and Jaden Springer remain on assignment in the G League.

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