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Sixers HC Brett Brown preaches importance of discipline amid Joel Embiid’s flagrant foul issue

Brett Brown, Sixers, Joel Embiid

Tempers flared late in the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 4 win over the Brooklyn Nets. And the consequences of the incident could haunt the Sixers deep into the playoffs.

Sixers center Joel Embiid was called for a flagrant foul on a drive to the hoop by Nets big man Jarrett Allen. It was Embiid’s second flagrant call of the postseason, and if he receives two more he will be suspended for one game.

Philly can’t afford to lose one of their best players, so head coach Brett Brown explained to his team that they need to be more disciplined going forward.

“It isn’t the cost of doing business,” Brown said. per Keith Pompey of Philly Inquirer. “It’s the discipline that we have to have. I’ve told this group candidly, I sat on a bench in San Antonio when Robert Horry hip checked [Steve] Nash into the stands and Amar’e [Stoudemire] and Boris [Diaw] stepped on to the court, and we weren’t beating them. I think they were winning the NBA Championship. We remember, y’know, Draymond [Green] stepping over LeBron [James]. And they were up 3-1 and they lost the series.

“And so, it’s not holding you’re breath, they’re reminders that I owe my players as the coach to have them, you know, be adults, be big boys and navigate through this. It’s not our fault at times we’re 20 pounds heavier and three inches taller. So in the meantime, like, we just gotta be smarter. And that’s my job.”

While the Sixers are likely to move onto the second round without a problem, the fouls will follow Joel Embiid throughout the rest of the postseason. He is dangerously close to a suspension very early in the playoffs, and the penalties will only continue to escalate.

Philadelphia is a strong and deep team, but it’s hard to envision a deep playoff run without Embiid. The 25-year-old has already made two All-Star teams in the first three seasons of his young career. In the regular season, he averaged 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 48.4 percent.

Embiid is battling a knee injury, but he is listed as probable for Tuesday’s Game 5. If Philadelphia wins, they will face either the Toronto Raptors or the Orlando Magic in the second round. The Raptors lead that series three games to one.