Sixers’ Joel Embiid Warns Justise Winslow And Heat He Will Be A ‘Nightmare’ During Playoff Series
Joel Embiid made his long-awaited first playoff appearance on Thursday night in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 128-108 Game 3 victory over the Heat in Miami, and made clear to his opponents that it will take a lot to bring him down.
Joel Embiid Returns For Playoffs
The 24-year-old center had been sidelined since March 28, when he sustained an eye injury and a concussion after crashing into teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid has been wearing a high-tech carbon facemask (that also functions as goggles) since then.
Embiid became upset about eight minutes remaining in the second quarter after Heat star Justise Winslow seemed to have intentionally stepped on Embiid’s mask as if he wished to break it. The mask had fallen onto the court after Embiid bumped into Kelly Olynyk just moments earlier.
omfg Justise Winslow really stepped on a part of Embiid’s mask pic.twitter.com/azeBc3sRW9
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) April 20, 2018
Despite this incident, Embiid stated this would not intimidate him during this postseason.
“As far as the mask, Justise stepped on it and tried to break it with his hands,” Embiid told reporters. “But little do they know is that have about 50 of them. It’s going to take much more than that to get me out of this series. I’m going to be a nightmare for them, too.”
Winslow said he didn’t think the verbal jabs between him and Embiid were a big deal.
“He kept throwing it on the ground, so I don’t know if he didn’t like it or what. But I was talking to Jo Jo, we were smack talking, trash talking, going back and forth,” said Winslow of the Sixers center. “No love lost.”
Embiid logged 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of play on Thursday. Winslow had 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Drafted in 2014, Embiid missed his first two seasons with injuries. During this past regular season, he averaged 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks, according to ESPN Stats.
Embiid made another big statement on Thursday after his team’s win.
“I feel like I’m the best defensive player in the league,” said the center, according to ESPN.
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) April 19, 2018
The Sixers lead the first-round series 2-1, and Game 4 is set for Saturday at 2:30pm EST in Miami.
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