Joel Embiid, Sixers List Goals After Clinching: ‘Trust the Process’

Celtics Clowned for Inability to Contain Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Trust the Process. It’s as much a part of Philadelphia’s DNA as cheesesteaks and Rocky at this point. So it was only fitting that Joel Embiid shouted it into the Zoom camera after the Philadelphia 76ers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

All roads will go through Philly during the upcoming NBA playoffs following the Sixers’ 122-97 victory on Friday night. Embiid registered another double-double (31 this season) in the clincher — 13 points, 11 rebounds — and then dead-panned about the Process, via the urging of team president Daryl Morey.

“Trust The Process,” Embiid joked. “Sam Hinkie knew.”

Hinkie has largely been credited for laying the foundation for the best team in the East. The former Sixers executive drafted Embiid and star point guard Ben Simmons, then the league forced him to resign for repeatedly tanking on purpose. Fast forward five years and the Sixers are vying for a championship.

“You got to go out and prove why you were the No. 1 seed, you got to go into the playoffs and beat these teams and win the whole thing,” Embiid told reporters. “Every year, we’ve gotten better. And this year, you know, I’ve mentioned that in the past, I just felt like everything was fitting. From the owners to coaches, the front office to the players, I just felt like everybody was on the same page.”

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Embiid Praises Sixers for Group Effort

Embiid remains a leading candidate to win the league’s MVP award. And Simmons has a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year. After those two studs, it was a collective effort up and down the Sixers’ roster.

Tobias Harris is an underrated superstar, with savvy role players like Seth Curry and Danny Green supplying crucial minutes. Dwight Howard has been way better than advertised, too.

“We did it as a group. It felt like everybody contributed,” Embiid said. “Offensively, just playing with each other, moving the ball, finding the right guys.

“Tobias doing his thing, Ben doing his thing, me being dominant, and the bench coming in and pushing leads. Great coaching staff, a great front office. The group that we’ve had this year has been exceptional.”

Doc Rivers Proved His Worth in First Year

Several Sixers players have mentioned how much different the offense has looked under new head coach Doc Rivers. Embiid talked about wandering around lost out on the three-point line last year as the team struggled to find its identity. Not this year.

Rivers decided on Day 1 to run everything through his All-Star center, while letting Simmons facilitate at the point. The result? The Sixers are the top seed in the East.

And Rivers is a legit Coach of the Year candidate. There is still plenty of work to be done, though. Like winning the franchise’s first title since 1983.

“I don’t want to downplay it. I told our guys they should enjoy, you know, I even don’t want to call it a moment, I told them to enjoy the second,” Rivers said. “Because, you know, it’s not what we want, but it’s part of what you can get on your way to what you want. I think for this team, being as young as we are, to have home court is really important. It’s nice to have. And so we should feel proud of it.”

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