Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid believes the Toronto Raptors aren’t as serious about winning as others. Following the Sixers’ 104-101 overtime win on Monday, the five-time All-Star coached Canada’s only NBA team. However, context is also important.
“We’re always on him, especially me,” Embiid said of teammate DeAnthony Melton. “Everybody, as long as he keeps shooting, I know it’s him, it’s Tobias. [Harris]PJ [Tucker]James [Harden], men are getting out of their seats. As long as they keep shooting – it doesn’t matter if I do or not – it makes my job easier.
According to a handful of NBA betting sites, the 76ers have the 11th best odds to win the championship in 2023. Some sportsbooks are giving better odds to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets.
Joel Embiid says having guys like De’Anthony Melton’s shot confidence makes his life easier, especially against a team like the Raptors.
“They don’t seem to care about winning most of the time. They just want to shut down the other star players.”
— By Sam DiGiovanni (@BySamDiGiovanni) December 20, 2022
But when you play a team like Toronto, they don’t care. A lot of times it seems like they don’t care about winning,” Embiid continued. The Sixers star is averaging a career-high 33 points this season.
“They want to shut down other star players. But when you play that, you have to be ready all night. You have to be alert and keep shooting at him and trust that you’ll make them when they come, and that’s what he did tonight.
76ers center Joel Embiid thinks the Raptors don’t want to win like other teams
In Monday night’s win over the Raptors, Joel Embiid finished with a game-high 28 points in 42 minutes. He recorded his 13th double-double of the season and finished with 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting 6-of-16 (37.5%) from the floor and hitting two 3-pointers.
Although Toronto outshot them 50-41, the Raptors struggled to knock down their shots from long range. They shot 27.5% from beyond the arc. And the 76ers shot an impressive 92.6% from the foul line.
The 76ers beat the Raptors 104-101 to improve to 17-12 overall. The spotlight goes to Joel Embiid and 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 finished five of his seven shooting attempts from downtown for 21 points, four boards, one assist and a steal. After this win, the 76ers are 17-12 and sit fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Raptors, they suffered their sixth straight loss. They dropped to 13-18 on the season, and the team is now in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings.
“I liked the way we hung in at first, but we got a little stretch where we hung in there and hung around and created some,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought we were creating some really good shots. Maybe with the quality of the shots we’ve created, they’re not awarded percentages.