Joel Embiid got the crowd going during the 76ers 97-92 victory over the Nuggets at home on Tuesday. After getting fouled, Embiid fell forward and made a no-look finger roll with his back to the basket. Feeling himself, he strolled over to near center court and gave a little “shimmy” as he egged on the crowd.

Embiid has been known to have a big personality with various ways of celebrating that get the fans pumped up. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Embiid’s outgoing personality had been somewhat quiet this season. When asked about it Embiid responded in a serious tone, “I haven’t done it enough all season. I have not been having fun like usually. just mainly because I am still trying to figure it out, make it work and all that stuff.”


The Cameroonian-born center finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes. With 15.3 seconds remaining Embiid hit two clutch free throws to put the Sixers up by five. Tobias Harris chipped in with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Sixers have now won three straight and are 13-0 at home.


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Embiid’s numbers have taken a dip since last year when he averaged 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks per game, but Philly is also working new players into their lineup after adding starters Josh Richardson and Al Horford in the offseason.

“It goes back with me being mature and one of the biggest parts of my game is having fun and by having fun means talking trash, but that part has kind of been cut so I just need to be myself and I guess do whatever I want. Because when I am having fun, I dominate. But this year, I don’t know, I could probably count on one hand how many times I have done it,” Embiid said.

After the game on Inside the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t shy about his opinion of Embiid. “We’re telling you, ‘You can be great. You ain’t playing hard enough.’ Twenty-two ain’t enough to get you to the next level. Do you want to be great or do you want to be good? If you want to be good, keep doing 22 points. You want to be great, give me 28, give me 30. You want to be great, watch Giannis — he wants to be great.”

Denver, on the other hand, is trying to figure out their best rotation. With last year’s draft pick, Michael Porter Jr. finally healthy the Nuggets are trying to figure out his role. Tuesday, their swingman Will Barton lead the team with 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. His contribution wasn’t enough to win, however, following the loss of starting point guard Jamal Murray to injury. Murray left the game with seven minutes left in the first quarter after colliding with Ben Simmons. Nikola Jokic had a nice all around game with 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, but he needs to do more for this team consistently.

The Nuggets have now lost three straight and five of their last six.

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