Day-after quotes are sometimes better than post-game quotes because players and coaches simply have a chance to collect their thoughts and/or look at film.
I recommend that.
We should all try it.
Or, if patience is not your thing, just go outside after a bad loss, get some fresh air, do a yoga move or smoke a big blunt. Find your personal nirvana before coming back to the computer, opening Twitter dot com, and unleashing all hell.
Anyway, Joel Embiid had three good explanations for three key issues last night, beginning with the regulation turnover that almost cost the Sixers the game.
Here’s the play in question:
“We run that play all the time,” Embiid said. Ben is supposed to cut and I’m supposed to come back and play that two-man game with JJ. From JJ’s perspective, I think there was only 8 seconds left, so I’m supposed to hand him the ball, and if he comes out and has a shot he’s going to take it, but if he doesn’t he throws it back, and that gives me about three seconds to get a bucket. But we didn’t execute well. It’s not on the coaching staff. That’s a play we run all the time and we score all the time on it, so that’s on us. That’s on us for not executing.”
The Sixers often go to the Embiid/Redick action and stick the other three guys on the weak side of the court. In most of their close games, they’ll use “25” at least once down the stretch.
Embiid also talked about the second turnover, which took place in overtime:
He was specifically asked if he was expecting Ben Simmons to give him a better, higher inbound pass.
“Yeah, I mean, you can go both ways,” Embiid said. “You can say that I could have gone to the ball. But at that point, the way I was thinking is that if I catch it at the three point line, I’m really, I’m not as efficient as if I catch it inside. But you can go both ways; that’s not his fault. He saw me, I was open, and I should have gone to the ball, so it’s my fault for not going to the ball. It’s nobody else’s fault but me.”
Embiid is also struggling on his post-up looks, and paused before giving a thoughtful answer as to why he’s having issues down low.
“I don’t know,” said Embiid. “Boston has you thinking a lot. Sometimes they double, sometimes they dig, sometimes they let you play 1v1, and sometimes the spacing isn’t right. It’s a lot of things. It’s just on me to figure it out. I missed a lot of easy ones. I think a lot of it is on me as a big man. I missed about 7 or 8 hook shots which is, as a big man I should be able to make those. If I take those back, you don’t really talk away about me being inefficient in the post. I just need to do a better job of making shots.”
Brett Brown was asked the same question and fleshed it out a bit more.
“I mean, it’s a real challenge that I think goes something like this: when we go back and sort of look at our called plays, where you sort of force feed Joel – there really weren’t many,” the head coach explained. “There were four, maybe five when we looked at it. When he gets the ball in just that sort of flow, the ball finds him. He’s a big guy and gets the ball. He needs the ball. He’s more effective when he turns and faces. Ironically, he’s more of a face-up guy at this stage. I think the post-up has been not a high percentage play, especially with Al (Horford) and Aron (Baynes) sort of riding him and not really coming down to double. So I’m hoping to not reduce touches, perhaps play more out of turn and face stuff. I think if we were all math teachers, that’s what the data says. I think that back to the basket grind is also fatiguing in many ways. yeah.”
Speaking of struggles, Robert Covington didn’t hit a field goal last night.
There was one moment in the second half where he missed a three and sort of slumped over, showing visible frustration:
Covington said on Sunday that he didn’t feel like he was struggling to score.
Here’s the full verbatim, just easier to write the whole thing out:
Crossing Broad: Rob, why do you think you’re struggling to score in this series?
Covington: “I’m not struggling to score. Just (that) the shot’s not falling. That’s not struggling.”
Crossing Broad: Just missing open shots?
Covington: “Yea, missing shots…”
Crossing Broad:(I accidentally cut him off) – Are you seeing something specific that they’re doing?
Covington: “Nah. No. It’s just that the shot isn’t falling. I’m not struggling to score, it’s the same shots I’ve shot all three games. Some go in, some don’t.”
I think it’s fair to say that the shot isn’t falling, but I also think that’s the definition of “struggling to score,” is it not? I don’t know, maybe we’re just splitting hairs here.
Either way, Covington has failed to hit a field goal in two of the three games during this series:
- game 1 – 0 for 6 (3 pts)
- game 2 – 8 for 15 (22 pts)
- game 3 – 0 for 8 (1pt)
That’s about it for interesting quotes on a Sunday afternoon. The time, as Andy Reid once said, is yours.