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Joel Embiid, the current Most Valuable Player of the NBA winner, and his Philadelphia 76ers squad looked poised to make their way to the Eastern Conference finals. However, after falling to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the series on Sunday (May 14), Joel Embiid is catching the wrath of NBA fans questioning his mettle.
Joel Embiid, 29, had a strong playoff run with the scoring heroics of James Harden aiding him when the points weren’t coming as easily for the big man. Even after suffering an injury, Embiid showed incredible grit in the paint and on the perimeter, proving why he won MVP honors this season.
That said, the Celtics, featuring the core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, were heavy favorites heading into the Eastern Conference finals and proved why on Mother’s Day. Especially Tatum, who led all scorers with 51, followed by Brown, who poured in 25. In contrast, the 76ers’ leading scorer was Tobias Harris with 19, followed by Tyrese Maxey, who dropped 17, and Embiid with 15. Harden, who has been lights out for much of the series, scored 9.
In the postgame press conference, Embiid put himself and Harden above the team in his comments and seemingly took shots at his supporting core by saying they didn’t show up. In fairness, Embiid also put the blame on himself, especially as he gave wider context.
Given Embiid’s offensive output and the way the Celtics rolled over them in a win-or-go-home matchup, Embiid’s comments invited a barrage of criticism. Further, given the recent firings of NBA head coaches such as Monty Williams in Phoenix and Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee, many believe 76ers coach Doc Rivers could be on the chopping block next.
Make no mistake. Joel Embiid is an elite NBA big man and one heck of an all-around player. The 76ers just ran into a prepared, hungry, and focused Celtics team on their home floor. Still, many on Twitter aren’t as forgiving and the tweets prove it. We’ve got them listed below.