Morning Shootaround

Joel Embiid questions Andre Drummond's defensive abilities

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has, since 2012-13, been one of the best rebounders in the NBA in that span and has never averaged less than 1.0 blocks per game or more as well. To Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, though, Drummond’s defensive chops are questionable.

* Recap: Sixers 97, Pistons 86

After dropping 30 points on the Pistons in the Sixers’ win last night, Embiid wasn’t particularly kind about Drummond’s skills as a stopper. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer has more:

Embiid finished with 30 points and nine rebounds as the Sixers left the land of the winless with a 97-86 decision at Little Caesars Arena. He made 11-of-15 shots and finished with two steals in 28 minutes, 11 seconds. If there was a downside, it was his seven turnovers.

Embiid, who shed his hair braids, came into the game wanting to do better than his previous matchups of the season.

Looking to get an edge, he watched game film of Drummond before the game.

“Defensively, he doesn’t play any defense,” Embiid said of what he saw. “When we started the game, he was being aggressive and he was talking, too. … So what I was like [in my mind] ‘You want to do that? I’m going to kick your [butt] then. So that’s what I did.”

One of his highlights came when he got Drummond to bite on a pump fake. That enabled the Sixer to take an uncontested dunk.

His domination was so obvious that one Pistons fan yelled “You [stink], Andre” after an Embiid basket.

“In my mind, I was like, ‘You want to switch up, because you are playing against me,’ ” he said of Drummond. ” ‘You want to be all physical and talk [trash].’ So I was like, ‘you are going to get our [butt beat].’ I love that.”

It’s safe to say that he was well rested and motivated after missing Saturday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. He was sidelined because it was the Sixers’ second game on consecutive nights. Embiid has yet to be cleared on for back-to-back games.

He’s also still playing under a minutes restriction. And against the Pistons, the Sixers’ play went down several notches with him out of the game.

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