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Sixers’ Joel Embiid wants focus on beating Nuggets, not Nikola Jokic

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the defending champion Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night looking to build off Monday’s win over the Houston Rockets. The Sixers have won two in a row now following a 3-game skid and are looking to make a statement.

The Nuggets offer a measuring stick kind of matchup due to the fact that they are the defending champs along with being led by the best player in the league right now in Nikola Jokic.

“Well, they’re the best in the league,” Embiid said of the Nuggets. “They just won a championship so they deserve to hold that title. Best player in the league in Nikola. I always say amazing to watch and even more fun to play against, and it’s fun to see other bigs dominate the game the way it’s been happening. Whether it’s him or some of the other guys so yeah, a fun matchup.”

Of course, everybody will focus on the individual matchup of Embiid vs. Jokic, but the reigning league MVP wants to focus on helping the Sixers beat the Nuggets more than anything.

“We’re excited about it,” Embiid continued. “The only thing I don’t want anybody to get caught up with is the matchup between us. This is Denver and Philadelphia trying to get a win. They’re gonna be hard to guard. Best team in the league and the best player in the league. So we got to try to do our best to try to get a win.”

Embiid was able to put up a big performance against Rockets big man Alperen Sengun on Monday. While Sengun is certainly no Jokic, Embiid still had 41 points and was happy to show up in a big matchup.

“It’s fun. I like the competition,” the leader of the Sixers added. “Who doesn’t want to play against the best? You look at even tonight, the big fella on the other side. He’s really good. The way he plays…kind of plays a little bit like, you know, we talked about Nikola, but it’s fun to play against the best. You kind of measure yourself and you see where you are with those guys.”

The matchup with the Nuggets can be seen as a measuring stick game for Embiid and the Sixers. Obviously, Denver is considered one of the favorites to win the title. Along with teams like the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks.

“Like I said, what also gets lost into it is, like, a matchup between two teams,” Embiid finished. “I’m not really trying to measure myself to those guys. I measure my team where we are. Can we compete to win we compete against Denver? The Boston’s? The Milwaukee’s? Those teams that are supposed to win a championship like where we are so tomorrow’s another bit to kind of judge to see where we are if we got a chance.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire