Joel Embiid urges Sixers front office to find enforcer
Joel Embiid clarified that he was not the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers several times throughout the 2021-2022 season NBA season. Following the Sixers’ Game 6 loss at home to the miami heatEmbiid reiterated that he’s not one to try to get inside Daryl Morey’s head when it comes to making moves.
However, during his Thursday night postgame press conference, Embiid publicly made a roster suggestion as he would like the Sixers to add an enforcer.
“We’ve had some tough guys since I’ve been here,” Embiid said on Thursday. The big man’s comments came after playing six games against seasoned Miami Heat veteran PJ Tucker.
While Tucker is a well-established three-point shooter who averaged 41% on three last season, the veteran guard brings defensive intensity to the field, which bolsters a team’s physicality — something the players lacked. Sixers in the second round.
“I can remember [having] Mike Scott, but he hasn’t played many minutes,” Embiid continued. “When you have size and toughness, you look at someone like PJ Tucker. A great player, but it’s not about knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether defensively or bouncing the ball.”
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After being beaten in Game 5 on the road against the Heat, several Sixers players pointed to lack of physicality as the reason they couldn’t fight better against Miami. In Game 6, you could say the same thing that Philadelphia’s physique and effort were in question throughout the game. Playing with a lack of juice hasn’t always happened with the Sixers throughout the year, but maybe that never happens with an energetic enforcer in the rotation.
“He plays with so much energy,” Embiid said of Tucker. “He thinks he can get from point A to point B, and he thinks nobody can beat him. And he’s tough. He’s physical and tough. They’ve got a couple of these guys, whether it’s Bam and all these guys, and since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said we’ve had these kind of guys.
Embiid made it clear he had “nothing against” last season’s squad roster, but he couldn’t help but bluntly point out a glaring hole in the squad after they were physically overworked on the court in the second round of the playoffs.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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