Joel Embiid – ‘No urgency to change anything’ about rising Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA — After beating the Boston Celtics to win for the ninth time in 11 games on Friday night, 76ers superstar Joel Embiid said there is “really no urgency to change anything” with his team, with just under four left. weeks to the NBA trading deadline.

“I feel great, man,” said Embiid, after finishing with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists in Philadelphia’s comfortable 111-99 win over his old rivals here at Wells Fargo Center.

“If I look at where we are when we had most of the team in the lineup, especially me in the lineup, we’re 21 and 9. That’s not bad. That’s up there with the best records in the NBA So, all that tells me we just have to stay healthy, keep doing what we were doing.

“I’m feeling pretty good and I don’t think we’ve played our best basketball yet. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re missing guys here and there who can really help us. There’s really no urgency to change I think we have everything we need. We are moving forward and I am happy.”

The 76ers have played this entire season with All-Star guard Ben Simmons sitting out as his lingering trade demand remains unfulfilled. But when Embiid was on the field, Philadelphia won 70% of its games, beating its opponents by 6.9 points per 100 possession.

The possibility of a Simmons trade—and what the Philadelphia could get in return—has been looming over the 76ers all season, though, since Simmons refused to report at the start of training camp in September.

But Embiid said he believes the Sixers are good enough to win with the players they now have at their disposal, although he admitted the 76ers had to play near-perfect basketball.

“I think so,” he said. “I think we all have to, we all have to be at our best. And if we’re at our best, I think we can beat anyone. We’ve seen it a few times this year. So I just think we should , I have to keep doing what I was doing and then of course we need consistency from everyone, not just Tobias [Harris] or Tyrese [Maxey] or Seth [Curry] or Danny [Green], guys coming off the couch get Shake [Milton] back [healthy].

“We need consistency and everyone comes in every night with the aim of just doing their job and playing in attacking and defensively and just playing together and then it will be fine.”

Philadelphia (24-17) was more than fine against Boston (21-22) Friday night, leapfrogging the Celtics with a 28-2 run in the first quarter and never looked back.

For Boston, it was a quick fall back to earth after a few brief sparks of life during a three-game season-long win streak. But with Marcus Smart out due to health and safety protocols, the Celtics got nothing from his replacement, Dennis Schroder, who missed all six shots he took in 25 minutes and was called up for a blatant foul 1 for pushing 76ers forward Matisse Thybulle in the back on a dunk attempt.

Thybulle landed very hard on his back and while initially staying in the game, he later left with pain in his right shoulder. Before leaving, he had five steals and two blocks for a 76ers team that made 20 turnovers and scored 31 points.

“This was a rough night,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists, but scored as many field goals (7-for-17) as turnover (7). “I don’t think we’ve had nights like that where… we’ve had some nights of course where we started slow, but mostly we give ourselves a chance.

“For whatever reason, it was one of those nights where we started slow and never… [recovered].”

For Philadelphia, it was a marked recovery from Wednesday’s loss here against the Charlotte Hornets, a defeat that shattered the 76ers’ seven-game winning streak. Embiid said Charlotte’s ball movement gave the Sixers a lot of trouble, while Boston’s more isolation-heavy offense was easier to defend.

“When you compare, you know, tonight from last night, it’s a little easier to guard,” Embiid said. “Charlotte, they can move the ball extremely well. They have shooters all over and they did some jump shots. Obviously Boston is more of an iso-heavy team. So it’s going to be a little bit easier to load some sort of load.” and try to stop them.”

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