Joel Embiid: 'Different Story' If 76ers Were Going to Philly Down 2-0 to Celtics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers grabs his head after a foul against the Boston Celtics during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid had a solid Game 2 against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, registering 34 points and 10 rebounds. 

The rest of his teammates did not, however, in a 128-101 blowout loss.

After the game, Embiid chose to look ahead to Game 3.

"It would be a different story if we were going back to Philly because we never seem to lose in front of our fans," he said, per Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. "... We got to be more physical than them. We got to keep moving the ball. We just got to keep on going. I guess I got to do more."

"I've got more to give," he added, per Chris Mannix of SI.com.

Embiid believes upping the physicality is a major key going forward as the Sixers look to recover from a 2-0 series deficit.

"Tonight, they were more physical than us offensively and defensively," he said, per NBC Philly's Serena Winters. "We've got to be tougher than them."

Slowing down Jayson Tatum—who finished with 33 points and hit eight three-pointers—is another focal point. 

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Joel Embiid on Sixers’ defense vs. Celtics’ Jayson Tatum: “Jayson has been killing it. You have to find a way to get the ball out of his hands. They want me to stay back... but we’ve got to make adjustments. Something’s got to change. It feels too easy.” https://t.co/TOy3KrD3sB


Tatum knocked down 8 threes (tied career-high) like it was nothing. 🔥 https://t.co/jjsQto8axo

What Embiid couldn't say was that he received little help from Tobias Harris and Al Horford, who are making a combined $60.7 million this season but combined for only 17 points on 6-of-18 shooting Wednesday night. 

That won't cut it, especially with Ben Simmons out injured and Boston firing on all cylinders through two games. 

The Sixers also can't rely on their pronounced home-court advantage in the Orlando bubble. Philly went 29-2 at the Wells Fargo Center this season and a woeful 10-24 on the road. The Sixers are now 4-6 at the Walt Disney World Resort and are playing like the road version of themselves rather than the home edition. 

To have any chance of advancing, they'll promptly need to reverse that.