Nets getting an unlikely help in try and comprise Joel Embiid


PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid is questionable for Sport 2 of the Nets-Sixers first-round playoff collection, however Kenny Atkinson stated he absolutely expects the All-Star middle to return to being Superman Joel on Monday.

However the Nets might have discovered Embiid’s kryptonite: His personal Philadelphia followers.

After going 5-of-15 from the ground and 0-for-5 from deep in Sport 1, Embiid stated his sore knee remains to be troubling him. However he additionally admitted the deafening boos from the sellout crowd might’ve thrown some Sixers off their video games.

“For some guys it’s annoying. It may be annoying,” stated Embiid, who didn’t follow Sunday. “Each missed shot, then you definately get booed, so that you get the following one and really feel like, ‘Ought to I shoot it or not, as a result of I’m about to get booed?’ Some guys are like that. It’s exhausting. All of us obtained to do a greater job: Us, the followers.”

Ben Simmons was even saltier, saying, “In case you’re going to boo, then keep on that facet. That’s how I really feel. In case you are a Sixers fan and going to boo, keep on that facet.”

Requested if they may see Embiid being impacted by the booing, the Nets stated they may.

“For positive. Oh, man,” stated Jared Dudley, additionally questionable with a good proper calf, whereas Ed Davis is questionable with a sprained proper ankle.

“I’m a 3-point shooter; once you miss three in a row you need the following one to be large open. [Then] they’re very wide-open, so now you [second-]guess your self, ‘Why am I so wide-open?’ Hey, and that Philly crowd, too? Did you hear these boos popping out? It’s a psychological recreation, and it’s lots more durable once you’re down.”

Various components additionally performed a job into Embiid’s struggles, many out of the Nets’ fingers. After sitting out the final two regular-season tilts — and 14-of-24 because the All-Star break — fatigue doubtless performed a job.

“He appeared good to begin. I believed the velocity and tempo of the sport drained him. After he missed a pair 3s he didn’t need it. He needed to pump pretend each time,” Dudley stated. “Embiid’s going to get his: We are able to’t have him get everybody in foul bother.”

Embiid had seven free throws simply 4 minutes into the sport — essentially the most by any participant within the NBA this yr.

Jarrett Allen picked up two fouls in simply 53 seconds, and had three with 4:30 left within the first quarter, all towards Embiid. He’ll should do a greater job Monday, as a lot caught out of place as he was bodily overwhelmed.

“It was [positioning]. It wasn’t actually staying on my toes. I’ve to have the ability to be in entrance of Joel if I am going up and contest the shot — verticality rule. I used to be sort of on the facet, in order that’s a bit adjustment I have to make,” Allen stated. “Simply being in the correct place to contest the shot. And I used to be out of place.”

If the Nets have one factor to repair for Sport 2, it’s conserving their block-happy younger middle on his toes and getting him to not chew on Embiid’s litany of fakes.

“Amen,” Atkinson stated. “And Rodions [Kurucs], too. It’s being younger. Ed Davis has seen Joel’s pump-fake 1,000 instances. These guys, they simply don’t have the expertise. And you can present them on tape — we’ll present ’em once more — [but] till they’ve some expertise, it’s powerful for them to remain down.”

Davis not solely had 12 factors and 16 boards, however held Embiid to only 4 factors on 1-of-Eight taking pictures when on the All-Star middle, in accordance with ESPN.

“Simply staying disciplined. It’s powerful in a recreation within the stream of issues, nevertheless it’s simply staying disciplined,” Davis stated.

“Guys like [Allen] can’t get in foul bother, have to have the ability to maintain their floor with Embiid, but in addition maintain placing stress on them,” Dudley stated. “[We have to] maintain attacking Embiid — I don’t know the way his knee is doing — maintain working him. We’ve been a roller-coaster group. Can we be constant? We’ll discover out [Monday].”

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