Joel Embiid Made Draymond Green “Nervous as Hell” Claims the Warriors Star After Massive Win vs the 76ers

Published 01/31/2024, 7:02 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Golden State Warriors might have won their most significant matchup of the season tonight. They beat the Philadelphia 76ers, the third seed in the East. Regarded as a powerhouse, Philly is energized by MVP Joel Embiid. He has been ruthless so far this season leading the league in scoring. After missing a few games due to injury, he was back in the lineup, and so was Tobias Harris. The Warriors lacked Klay Thompson who was suffering from an illness. It was a test of character and resilience for the 2021 champions.

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They delivered in the most emphatic of ways one could imagine. Stephen Curry climbed to a different stratosphere, leading the way with 37 points. His various buckets in the fourth helped the Bay secure a close 107-119 win at the Chase Center. Even Andrew Wiggins balled out against his college teammate.

Yet an unsung hero was Draymond Green. Jumping back into the sheath of his prime, he completely closed out Embiid. However, Green had to battle his own anxiety before the clock even began.

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Draymond Green shares his reactions to his foul

During the latest episode of the Draymond Green Show, the former DPOY reviewed the Warriors’ conquest over Philly. One moment in particular couldn’t escape his memory. You see Green picked up his first foul even before the shot clock began. It was during the opening jump ball. Green, who wasn’t satisfied with the tip couldn’t get his hand on the ball first. As an impulse reaction, Green held Embiid to prevent him from getting possession. Unfortunately for him, the Tony brothers caught it.

Considering his main matchup was Joel Embiid, Green wasn’t feeling so great after his mishap.“That was my first foul before the clock even started and I was nervous as hell because to get one foul when the clock hasn’t started and your matchup is Joel Embiid that is torture. Then I picked up a trash second foul and went to the bench for the rest of the quarter. However, guys held it down,” shared the forward.

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Without their best defender on the floor, the Warriors still were only outscored by five in the opening quarter. Once Draymond Green was back, the entire momentum just shifted. He held Embiid to his lowest tally this season, just 14. Before facing Green, he had scored 30 in 22 straight games.

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Green’s expertise in guarding the post was the major reason Embiid struggled to score. He didn’t allow him the space he usually gets. Moreover, everything was heavily contested. The Philly center only shot 5-18 and was held down to a -21. On the other hand, Green had the second-highest +/- on the Warriors, only behind Curry.

He successfully battled the early woes and came back to really set the stage for a monumental win this season. Green even looks calmer on the court, which seems to be driving his impact upwards with each game. If the Warriors have this version of Green for the rest of the season, one that defends the best player and is shooting over 40% from three, that’s the way to get back.

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But can he sustain it? Only time will tell.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

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Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having composed close to 2000 articles, he aspires to manage his own team one day and is pursuing a top-tier college-level management program specializing in sports. Anuj's love for basketball blossomed after he started following the NBA a few years ago, and he decided to merge his writing skills with his understanding of this thrilling game.
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Edited by:

Ruth John

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