Brett Gardner turns down chance to play against Yankees opponent
Joel Embiid wasn’t interested in his teammates in the second round against the Miami Heat.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ season officially ended with a 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday. When Joel Embiid missed the first two games of the series, it was a frustrating loss for a team that couldn’t quite get out of the 0-2 hole.
Embiid has never been shy about speaking out, but he was especially candid after the loss, talking at length about James Harden and what he’s done without playing for the Sixers in the playoffs.
According to ESPN, Embiid also elaborated on the Sixers defense:
“And I’m not just talking about offense. I’m talking about, you know, offense and defense as a whole. I don’t think we’ve done a good job on defense as a team. They took advantage of what we were trying to do on defense. A lot of things. And then offensively, literally everyone is on the same page, obviously, maybe only three or four months to work together and try to figure it out. Maybe not that long. …I don’t think we hit The best basketball ever.”
The Sixers have been battered without Embiid throughout the playoffs, and Harden couldn’t do much to stop the tide. The Sixers are averaging 4.7 points per 100 possessions in 146 minutes with Harden on the floor without Embiid. They were particularly bad on the defensive end, giving up an average of 118.2 points per 100 possessions.
Will Joel Embiid and the Sixers want James Harden back?
The Sixers gave up a lot to get Harden this season and spent a lot of time patiently waiting for the trade to unfold. He has a player option for next season and has said he plans to work out and return to Philadelphia. Embiid, however, didn’t sound particularly excited about the prospect, clearly understanding that the Harden they got wasn’t the Harden they hoped to get. Philly could trade Harden this summer, but it’s hard to imagine they’d come up with a deal that would put them in a worse position in return for anything close to what they gave up to get Harden.
Right now, for better or worse, the Sixers’ wagon is tied to Harden.