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#pounditMonday, November 29, 2021

Joel Embiid hits back at Marcus Smart for accusing him of flopping

Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers have a bad taste in their mouths after getting swept by the Boston Celtics last postseason, and now the rivalry may be growing.

The two sides met on Wednesday in what ended up as a 117-109 win for the Sixers. After the game, Celtics guard Marcus Smart expressed disgust with some perceived flopping by Sixers center Joel Embiid.

“[Embiid] alone shot 21 free throws, we shot 20,” said Smart, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Can’t beat that … We got our hands up a lot of the times and [Embiid] flails and he gets the call. Meanwhile on the other end we attack and we don’t get the whistles. It’s tough playing like that.”

Embiid soon got wind up Smart’s comments and fired back.

“Marcus Smart just told me that I flail a lot? Come on,” Embiid said, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic. “I’m sure he knows himself and he knows his game. You know he does a lot of that.

“The game is physical,” added Embiid. “Other teams tend to try to be extra physical against me. I guess I’m just smarter than everybody else. If you’re gonna put your hand up there, I’m gonna take advantage of it and I’m gonna get to the free-throw line.”

Indeed, this is a classic case of the pot and the kettle. Embiid and Smart are both two of the more notorious floppers in the sport today. But while the former usually does it in an attempt to earn free throws, the latter mostly does it on the defensive end to try to draw an offensive foul.

These two players don’t exactly like each other either. Given their history, this war of words was probably inevitable.

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