Joel Embiid Sounds Off on Giannis Antetokounmpo After Huge Sixers Win

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

After the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks on March 4, Joel Embiid talked about how hard it is to cover Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo when the two go head-to-head.

“It’s not easy to guard him, but when you’re, I guess, 7-foot-2 and you can move, and you’re also pretty strong, it becomes not easy but becomes a lot easier too because he’s so strong,” Embiid said, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “He goes so hard, and it’s kind of like a fullback diving at you basically, and you just got to take it and hope for the best.”

Embiid also talked about the charge call he managed to get called on Antetokunmpo during the game, adding that he relishes the challenge of guarding the best players on his opponents.

“I got a charge call,” Embiid added. “We got another questionable one that could have gone either way. I like that pressure to guard the best players on the other teams and I thought it did a pretty good job in that fourth quarter.”

The Sixers have one more matchup against the Bucks scheduled for April 2. Knowing how tight the playoff race is, that game could have huge implications on playoff seeding.

Giannis Says Sixers Defeat Was ‘Good Lesson’ For Bucks

During his postgame press conference, Antetokounmpo said that the Sixers won because of how well they played in multiple areas on the floor, which is something he believes the Bucks can learn from.

“They went wherever they wanted to go, scoring from the paint, floaters, isos, offensive rebounds, free throws, 3s,” Antetokounmpo said, per The Associated Press. “You name it. They were able to get everything. We’ve got to be able to play 48 minutes of good basketball, defend for 48 minutes. This is a good lesson for us.”

With the Sixers’ victory, they are now three and a half games behind the Boston Celtics for the no. 2 seed and four games behind the Bucks for the no. 1 seed. The Sixers have 19 games left, so they could make up the difference, but it would also take a few more losses on the Celtics‘ and Bucks’ end to pull that off.

The Bucks-Sixers game also may have potentially been a playoff preview between the two teams, who have yet to face off against one another in the postseason since Embiid and Antetokounmpo came into the NBA.

Bucks Coach Impressed With Embiid

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer praised Embiid for his performance against Milwaukee, praising how easy the Sixers star makes it look when he scores.

“The offensive skill and touch that he has at his size is phenomenal and I just think his shot-making, his touch from 15-to-17 feet, it looks effortless,” Budenholzer said of Embiid, per Carlin. “It looks like a layup for him. He can take it out to the 3-point line, then he takes you off the dribble, incredibly crafty and creative about getting to the free-throw line.”

Budenholzer then added how crafty Embiid is at drawing free throws.

“He creates lots of free throws,” Budenholzer added of Embiid. “He may be leading the league in free throws, and when he’s around the basket, he can score with force, and play in the paint. We have our hands full, everybody does every night against Embiid.”

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