“Crown Jewel” Shows Shine
Joel Embiid was the man on Monday.
Dominant, crafty, loud — and shiny.
“He was our crown jewel in a blatant way,” Brett Brown said. “We have talent, no doubt. But he emerged in significant ways throughout the game. Joel Embiid carried us, and we needed him, particularly offensively.”
Embiid finished the game with 36 points (12-19 FG), 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a block.
All this while facing double-teams regularly.
“He was great. He willed us to that win, his play all-around in the game,” Tobias Harris said. “At the end, he was just a beast down there, and was able to make plays, knowing they were double-teaming him.”
“Knowing that they were going to double Jo making plays out of the post, he was great,” Ben Simmons said postgame.
Embiid’s 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of game-winning free throws, would ultimately make the difference in the 105-103 win. Embiid was 10-for-10 on foul shots Monday.
“Joel Embiid was a handful tonight, he gets three of our big guys with three fouls in the first half,” Atlanta Head Coach Lloyd Pierce said postgame. “Once he gets it down there, we have to find other ways to try and get it out of his hands.”
The Sixers focused on getting the big fella touches down low in the fourth, and he found success despite the double-teams.
The Sixers outscored the Hawks in the paint, 12-4, in the final period. From inside 10 feet of the basket, Embiid converted 8-of-9 field goals on the evening.
“[Joel is] unstoppable down there,” Tobias Harris said. “ That was a good way for us to get some easy looks.”
For Embiid, capitalizing on these late-game scenarios have been top of mind for a while now.
“That is just something that I worked on all summer. You have to have the body for that and be able to get into position, especially in the fourth quarter. Somebody had to step up, and I felt like that was me,” Embiid said postgame.
A skill that is always welcomed, especially so Monday in Atlanta.
The team continues its quest Wednesday at home, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves.