Joel Embiid admits he has to be better after Celtics eliminate Sixers
BOSTON–The Philadelphia 76ers are picking up the pieces following a Game 7 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics as their focus now turns to self-improvement and looking to move forward after falling short of their title plans.
Joel Embiid, who had one phenomenal season on his way to winning the MVP award, did not have an MVP performance in the loss to the Celtics. He shot just 5-for-18 and he only scored 15 points. The big fella was unable to have much success against the Celtics in the elimination game and he understands that he needs to be better moving forward.
“I’ve gotta be better,” said Embiid. “I guess that’s on me being, if you wanna call me the best player on the team, every failure and every loss no matter what should be put on the best player and I’ll take it all and it’s all on me. It’s hard to win alone, but it’s all on me. I just gotta be better and I will be better. Every time I say it, I always find a way to get better and I will get better.”
Specifically, Embiid had trouble against Al Horford in Game 7. He shot only 3-for-16 when defended by Horford and when combined with Robert Williams III, the Sixers had a tough time finding an offensive rhythm.
“He’s a great player,” Embiid said of Horford. “He’s a big part of everything they do and he was great. I just thought as a team, they did a fantastic job. The adjustments they made, obviously, it’s hard to drive the paint. Rob is sitting there all the time so it makes every shot tougher and defensively, they took away our bread and butter which is the pick-and-roll between me and James (Harden). We didn’t get a lot of those shots that we usually get.”
Al Horford held Joel Embiid to 3-of-16 as his primary defender in game 7, per ESPN tracking
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Embiid continued to give his credit and respect to the Celtics who obviously have a ton of talent. Boston also possesses a lot of experience as they have been in these positions before and understand what it takes to win.
“They made a great adjustment and they forced James to really attack and make plays out of that and either finish over Rob or kick it out to the corner and force other guys to make shots,” Embiid continued. “I thought, for the most part, they did a good job as a team. Every time I had the ball, they were all pulling over to make sure there was no driving space for me to drive. Credit to them. I think they’re the best team in the league and they’re pretty good.”
Experience is such an important factor in this league. This is another lesson for Embiid going forward. In order for him to get to where he wants to go, which is a championship, then he needs to take this experience and grow from it.
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