Two of the biggest storylines to come out of Monday night’s NBA playoff action were the second-half collapse by the Philadelphia 76ers in their 103-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Clippers‘ dominant effort in their win against the Utah Jazz. Both of those series are now knotted at two games apiece and appear headed for a thrilling finish.
In terms of individual highlights of the night, Hawks’ forward John Collins got the doubleheader started with a slew up ferocious dunks, but the most jaw-dropping throwdown of the evening had to be Kawhi Leonard’s posterization of Derrick Favors.
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The monster slam happened late in the first half of the Clippers’ win over the Jazz, with L.A. already up by 60-38, and if all of the momentum wasn’t already with the hosts, this put them over the top.
Since the postgame happenings are always a lengthy “process” for professional athletes with numerous interviews with the media and such, Joel Embiid, like much of the night owls across America, was able to witness the dunk live. It was a “major Kawhilight” indeed.
‘Did You See That Kawhi Dunk? Man! Wow! … That Kawhi Dunk Was Crazy!’
During a postgame presser, Embiid, it seems, was addressing his historically poor second half – he shot 0-for-12 after intermission – when the Kawhi dunk caught his attention. Judging by his gaze up towards an area well above where the camera was recording him, it appears that Embiid may have seen the dunk happening on the other side of the country on a television screen.
Even as he tried to refocus and complete his answer to the question, he couldn’t help but express how impressed his was with the Clippers’ star’s highlight.
Given that he was a mere hour or two past his lowest point of the postseason thus far, it’s interesting, and should be seen as a positive, that Embiid wasn’t too down in the dumps to appreciate a beautiful NBA moment (not for Favors) when he saw one.
Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard Shared Significant Moment Two Years Ago
Of course, no matter how much Embiid and Sixers fans may not want for this to be true, the big man and Kawhi will be always be remembered together for what transpired about 25 months ago. Only 11 days prior to the start of this year’s Philly playoff run was the two-year anniversary of one of the most devastating moments in 76ers franchise history, while also being one of the most exciting moments in Toronto Raptors history.
With both the Sixers and Clippers tied in their respective Conference Semifinals 2-2, a lot has to happen for Embiid and Kawhi to meet again in the playoffs this summer. Each team needs six more wins to reach the NBA Finals, first a pair of victories against the Hawks and Jazz, and then for the Sixers, four games over the Bucks or Nets and for the Clippers, a series victory against the Phoenix Suns.