Philadelphia 76ers superstar big man Joel Embiid overheard Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse complaining about how Embiid was being officiated during the opening game of their first-round playoff series on Saturday, and told the Raptors coach what he thought as the game played out.
“He’s a great coach,” Embiid said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “Obviously, he’s been able to accomplish [a lot] and always been a big fan.
“But, I told him, respectfully, I told him to stop b—-ing about calls.”
“If you’re going to triple-team somebody all game, they are bound to get to the free throw line, or if you’re going to push them off and try to hold them and and all that stuff, they’re bound and get to the free throw line,” Embiid said. “So I feel like every foul was legit and probably should have been more, honestly.”
Embiid certainly made the Raptors pay for sending him to the line, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and going 12-for-14 from the free throw line in the Sixers 112-97 victory in Game 2, to give Philly a commanding 2-0 series lead.
“At least there wasn’t as many elbows thrown to the face tonight that we had to endure,” Nurse said. “He was saying to me that, ‘I’m going to keep making all the free throws if you keep fouling,'” Nurse said. “And I said, ‘Well, you might have to.’
“But a good player, man. I got a lot of respect for him. He’s certainly playing great here. There’s nothing there but us trying to compete against him and him trying to compete against us.”
“Referees and the league, they’re the same way,” Embiid said. “They’re gonna come in the next game, and they are gonna let stuff go. So, you know, they’re not going to call, you know, some fouls. So, in that case, you got to be more aggressive. You got to go to the rim with more power. You got to jump over people, you got to try to finish through contact. Because that’s an adjustment when it’s the refs coming in and [the Raptors are] complaining.
“I’ve been doing this for quite a while to know that’s usually the adjustment. [And] in that case, that’s where I’d become more physical.”
Emiid added that he expects less fouls to be called in a crucial Game 3, saying that he looks forward to the challenge of going up 3-0 in the series.