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#pounditThursday, November 26, 2020

Kendrick Perkins criticizes Joel Embiid, ‘frontrunner’ 76ers

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid had his best performance of the season on Monday night when he dominated the Atlanta Hawks, but former NBA big man Kendrick Perkins is not impressed with anything he has seen from Embiid or the Philadelphia 76ers.

Embiid looked like he was on a mission in Philly’s 129-112 win, scoring a season-high 49 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in 36 minutes. He showed how capable he is of taking over a game by going 17-of-24 from the floor and 14-of-15 from the free throw line. While Sixers fans certainly enjoyed it, Perkins called out Embiid during ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Tuesday for being “all hyped up because he dominated the worst team in the league.”

The Hawks have just 17 wins on the season and are the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, in front of only the Cleveland Cavaliers. Perkins questioned why Embiid did not show the same type of energy in Saturday’s loss to the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks, when Embiid had 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

“To me, Joel Embiid and the 76ers are frontrunners,” Perkins said. “They’re a tight contender at home, but on the road they’re a lottery team.”

Perkins isn’t exactly going out on a limb. The 76ers are 27-2 this season at home and 9-20 on the road. That inconsistency could be a huge problem for them in the postseason, especially if they don’t earn one of the top four seeds. They entered Tuesday as the No. 5 seed in the East.

Perkins has carved out a nice career for himself as an analyst by not being afraid to rip on star players, but he’s right that the 76ers need to show they can beat good teams on the road. That doesn’t mean Embiid should avoid beating his chest over a 49-point performance, but the Sixers would be in much better shape if he could find that next gear against playoff teams.

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