Apr 25, 2024 - News

Embiid guarantees win, but a loss spells end for Sixers

Joel Embiid

The Sixers' Joel Embiid. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty

Sports fans love star players making guarantees. Think Joe Namath, and now Joel Embiid.

What they're saying: "We're going to win this series," Embiid said as his team was down 2-0 to the Knicks in the opening round of the NBA playoffs. We know what we have to fix."

Why it matters: Thursday's home game is a must-win for the Sixers as no team in NBA history has ever won a series after going down 3-0.

Catch up quick: The Sixers were still fuming over the controversial ending in Monday's 104-101 loss in Game 2.

  • The NBA acknowledged guard Tyrese Maxey was fouled multiple times during a defining stretch of the game, including on an inbounds pass when he turned over the ball, leading to a go-ahead 3-pointer for the Knicks.
  • Embiid complained about the non-calls, and the team plans to file a grievance with the league.
  • While the league acknowledged officiating mistakes, it didn't change the game's outcome, and the Knicks now firmly control the series.

The intrigue: The Knicks have won eight straight playoff series when winning the first two games, per the Inquirer.

  • They're 16-2 overall with 2-0 leads.

Yes, but Embiid still believes the Sixers are the better team. He's fought through too much this season to watch the Sixers go down without a fight.

  • Embiid was back on the hardwood eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee — an injury he's dealt with in the past.

💭 Isaac's thought bubble: These are the moments when stars rise or fall. Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl win. Michael Jordan hit clutch shot after clutch shot en route to six championships.

  • If the Sixers lose Thursday, they should sit Embiid out for Game 4 and not risk his future. History tells us they're guaranteed not to climb back from a 3-0 deficit.

If you go/watch: Tipoff in South Philly is at 7:30pm on TNT. Tickets: $81+

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