Joel Embiid Laments Lackluster Defense and Shooting in Shock Loss To Cavaliers

Published 02/28/2021, 11:48 AM EST
Jan 7, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after being called for an offensive foul in the third quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


Joel Embiid is the favorite to win MVP this season. While he is playing in the weaker Eastern Conference, his Philadelphia 76ers are the best in the conference. This wouldn’t happen with the leap that Joel Embiid has taken as a player this season. He is in the running to be the first center to win MVP since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.

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However, Embiid and the 76ers fell to a shocking loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are once again one of the worst teams in the league. Embiid spoke about the loss after it happened.

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“We gotta create for each other. I think we still don’t shoot enough 3s. I think we just gotta create for each other and you’re wide open, just left it fly. If you miss it, we got a couple of good offensive rebounders, and if you make it, good.

“Offensively, it also gets better when you get stops,” Embiid added. “It always starts on defense. If you get stops, we have one of the fastest players in the league in Ben and we can push it in transition. For me, it’s not about just offense, it’s about defense. When you get stops, you can run and you can get easy baskets.”

Joel Embiid: Does this loss affect his season?

Jan 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) celebrates with guard Ben Simmons (25) and center Joel Embiid (21) after scoring the game-winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid is an MVP front-runner not because he puts up big numbers. It is because he puts up big numbers that lead to wins, like the 76ers have been getting all season. Every team stumbles during the season, and this loss is nothing more than a stumble for the 76ers.

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For Embiid, he has to fight a lot of worthy opponents to win MVP. But winning MVP doesn’t seem to be his concern. Winning a championship is. The first season under Doc Rivers is going really well for Philly. However, will this team collapse in the post-season like many Rivers teams before this one?

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If Embiid can play at this level and Ben Simmons can be the elite player everyone knows he can be, this 76ers team may genuinely make a championship push. Scary to think considering how young Embiid and Simmons still are.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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