Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid believes the Toronto Raptors are not as serious about winning as other others. Following the Sixers’ 104-101 overtime win on Monday, the five-time All-Star roasted Canada’s lone NBA team. Though, context is also important.
“We’re always on him, me especially,” Embiid said of teammate De’Anthony Melton. “Everybody really, because I know that as long as they keep shooting, whether it’s him, Tobias [Harris], P.J. [Tucker], James [Harden], guys coming off the bench. As long as they keep shooting — it doesn’t matter if I make it or not — it makes my job easier.”
According to a few NBA betting sites, the 76ers possess the 11th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks are giving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets better odds.
Joel Embiid said that guys like De'Anthony Melton not losing confidence in their shot makes his life easier, especially against a team like the Raptors.
"It seems like, most of the time, they don't care about winning. They just want to shut down the other star players."
— Sam DiGiovanni (@BySamDiGiovanni) December 20, 2022
“But when you play a team like Toronto, they don’t really care. It seems like, most of the time, they don’t care about winning,” continued Embiid. The Sixers star is averaging a career-high 33 points per game this season.
“They just want to shut down the other star players. But when you play that, you got to be ready all night. You got to stay alert and have the confidence of just keep shooting it and hope that you make them when they come, and that’s what he did tonight.”
76ers center Joel Embiid thinks the Raptors are not as interested in winning as other teams
In Monday night’s win over the Raptors, Joel Embiid led the Sixers in scoring with 28 points in 42 minutes played. He logged his 13th double-double of the season, finishing with 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals while shooting 6-of-16 (37.5%) from the floor and hitting two 3-pointers.
While Toronto outrebounded them 50-41, the Raptors struggled to knock down their shots from long range. They shot 27.5% beyond the arc. And the 76ers shot an impressive 92.6% at the foul line.
76ers get the win 104-101 over the Raptors to improve to 17-12 overall. Spotlight goes to Joel Embiid & Tobias Harris tonight
Embiid: 28p / 11r / 4a / 2s
Harris: 21p / 4r / 5 3PM / 77.8% FG pic.twitter.com/9wVVfCB9mn
— Coast 2 Coast (@Coast2CoastNBA) December 20, 2022
Harris hit a clutch 3-pointer with 2:12 left in overtime. He ended his performance with 21 points, four boards, one assist, and one steal while making five of his seven shot attempts from downtown. After this win, the 76ers are 17-12 and sit fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Raptors, they were handed their sixth consecutive loss. They dropped to 13-18 for the season, and the team now ranks 10th in the East standings.
“I like the way we hung in early, but we hung in there and hung around and found a little bit of a stretch where we made a few,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought we were creating some really good shots. Probably not quite rewarded, percentagewise, for the quality of shots we did create.”
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