Joel Embiid talks matchup with Ja Morant, return for De’Anthony Melton

After a bad loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers to begin their road trip, the Philadelphia 76ers now get set to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday for the middle game of a 3-game trip. The Sixers will have to turn their attention to Ja Morant and a very talented Grizzlies team.

Morant is averaging 28.2 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds to begin the season for Memphis and he’s shooting a career-high 37.6% from deep. He has combined his elite athleticism with an improved shooting percentage from deep and he has established himself as one of the best players in the league.

The improvement of Morant will make it a tall task for Joel Embiid and the Sixers to get back on track in this matchup.

“He’s so freakin athletic,” Embiid told reporters of Morant. “Sometimes, I think he’s athletic for no reason. He’s hard to guard. Especially, when he’s coming downhill and attacking the rim. You don’t know what he’s gonna do because he’s so quick, he got so much bounce, he can dunk on you he’s got a quick floater. He’s shooting the ball well from 3 so it’s gonna be a tough matchup.”

That is where De’Anthony Melton will have to come in. The 5-year veteran out of USC was acquired by the Sixers from the Grizzlies back in June on draft night and he is set to make his return to Memphis on Friday.

Embiid wants the defensive pest to not only bother Morant, but to also make a statement on the offensive end in order to come away with a win.

“We got guys that like to take on know those type of matchups,” Embiid added. “I’m excited for De’Anthony to be back. I’m expecting him to score 40 against them to show them that they made a mistake trading him away so it’s gonna be fun.”

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire