Prior to Friday night’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, there were rumors that rookie center Joel Embiid might have to defend point guard Isaiah Thomas when caught on a switch.
Embiid first brought up the possibility of doing so at shootaround, when he told reporters with a smile, that he hopes to switch onto Thomas at some points during the game.
Thomas made it a point to show up the big man, scoring eight points in the fourth quarter en route to his total of 24 for the game — even taunting the 7-footer for good measure.
“Nobody can stop me on a switch, especially not your big [behind],” Thomas told Embiid during the game, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.
Embiid held his own with a 23-point, eight-rebound performance, but it wasn’t enough to hold off a hot-shooting Celtics team that combined to make 19-of-40 shots from beyond the arc.
After Friday night’s 110-106 win over the 76ers, the Celtics have won nine out of their last 11 games, maintaining separation from the surging Atlanta Hawks, who are in a five-game winning streak.
Thomas’ confidence has spearheaded a winning mentality for Boston, now that the team is healthy and has made some good strides playing together.