Pascal Siakam Calls Out 76ers' Joel Embiid After Game 4: 'It's All Fake Toughness'April 24, 2022
Toronto Raptors veteran Pascal Siakam sounded off on Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid following Game 4 of their first-round playoff series for what he feels were "dirty plays" made by the MVP candidate late in Saturday's game.
"I'm a competitor. I love competing. This is the playoffs, the highest level. I'm cool with the talking, I just don't want those dirty plays," Siakam told reporters. "I don't like that. Keep it basketball... At the end of the day, it's all fake toughness"
In the fourth quarter of Saturday's game, things between Siakam and Embiid got physical. With about three minutes remaining and the Raptors leading 101-89, Embiid fouled Siakam hard and earned himself a technical foul.
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Things are getting chippy in Toronto 👀<br><br>Joel Embiid makes sure Pascal Siakam can feel this foul.<br><br>Siakam has a career-high 34 points. Embiid was hit with a tech.<br><br>🎥 <a href="https://twitter.com/timandfriends?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@timandfriends</a><a href="https://t.co/ivNkZI9FdC">pic.twitter.com/ivNkZI9FdC</a>
Toronto went on to win the game 110-102, and Siakam played a significant role in the victory beyond just exchanging pleasantries with Embiid. The 28-year-old finished with a career-high 34 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and 1-of-4 shooting from deep. He also had eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks.
Because of Siakam's efforts, the Raptors cut the 76ers' series lead to 3-1. While Philadelphia is still favored to win the series, Toronto at least showed it won't go down easily.
Moving forward, Siakam will need some of his teammates to step up. Gary Trent Jr. had 24 points Saturday, by OG Anunoby, Khem Birch and Fred VanVleet were quiet offensively, combining for just 16 points.
Considering Embiid is an MVP candidate and in the midst of a career year, he'll only use Siakam's comments to motivate him to close out the series entering Game 5, which is set for Monday night.
And, to be fair, Embiid is playing through a potentially torn ligament in his right thumb, which has been described as very painful. He told reporters Saturday that he plans to play the entire playoffs despite the ailment. If that's the case, he's undoubtedly one of the toughest players in the league.