The Philadelphia 76ers suffered a tough loss to the Miami Heat Thursday night, knocking them out of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. While the entire team was forced to swallow defeat, nobody had it worse than Joel Embiid. The star center played in three games despite a recent mild concussion, a right orbital fracture, and a torn ligament in his shooting hand.
After the game, Embiid explained what went wrong for the Sixers, and it was pretty simple.
“I just know that we wasn’t tough enough,” he said, per NBC Sports. He then explained that putting in the work is just as important as being a talented player. He pointed to P.J. Tucker as a great example of both traits.
“You look at someone like P.J. Tucker. Great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether it’s on the defensive end or rebounding the ball,” Embiid said after the loss, all quotes courtesy of NBC Sports.
Then, Embiid took a slight diss towards his teammates throughout his time in Philadelphia.
“He [Tucker] believes that no one can beat him. And he’s tough. He’s just physical, and he’s tough. And they have a few of those guys…And since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said that we’ve had those types of guys. Nothing against what we have, it’s just the truth. We never had P.J. Tucker. That’s really what I’m trying to say. So, I think physicality – especially once you get to the playoffs or the later rounds – you need that. You need those guys that are really tough.”
Embiid is right, he needs teammates around him with the same motivation and heart that he displays every night. He deserves teammates that would play in playoff games despite dealing with a fractured orbital bone.