I can see it now. The sun is high in the sky on a bright, clear day and everyone is snapping photos as the bust is revealed when Michael Lombardi is inducted into the bad take Hall of Fame. His latest contribution to his candidacy involves the Sixers' current "one-man army," Joel Embiid.
A quick history lesson on Lombardi is a short ride in the DeLorean back to 2017 when he infamously called Doug Pedersen one of the least qualified people to coach a team "than anyone I've ever seen." We all know how that turned out.
What makes Lombardi's attempt to drag Embiid about his conditioning so weak is that it's a clear reflection of the lazy narratives so many national writers and pundits latch onto about Philadelphia sports teams. Although Joel "Shirley Temple" Embiid has not taken his diet seriously enough in the past and faced a lot of criticism about his conditioning, from me included, his play against Boston has been strong.
Conditioning is a distant reason, if one at all, for his late-game struggles in Game 3, when he went 1 for 9 in the second half. Turnovers; passing out of double teams; spacing; fading away on his jumpers - yes. Playing poorly because he's out of gas late in the game? No.
Maybe Lombardi will send Embiid a typewritten apology someday?
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Michael Lombardi's take on Joel Embiid's conditioning is way off the mark originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia