Joel Embiid returned to the 76ers’ beginning lineup Saturday evening for the primary time since mid-March, and the timing could not have been significantly better. The four-time All-Star, who had been recovering from a knee harm, was capable of play towards his outdated buddy Karl-Anthony Cities.
Buddy? No, that does not appear proper. Perhaps it might be extra correct to explain the Timberwolves middle as Embiid’s basketball nemesis.
A fast refresher: Again in October 2019, Embiid and Cities have been ejected from a game following a brawl that noticed the large males exchanging blows as they tumbled to the bottom. They then traded harsh verbal jabs on social media, and every participant earned a two-game suspension for his or her roles within the “on-court altercation” and for his or her “continued escalation” on-line.
Does that imply Embiid and Cities actually hate one another? No, in all probability not, however it does make their matchups intense and entertaining to observe.
Within the first half of Saturday’s contest, Cities put Embiid on a poster with a one-handed dunk, and he let Embiid learn about it.
Embiid answered later by hitting Cities with a fast crossover, creating contact and ending an off-balance shot. He celebrated with a sequence of crotch chops that may make Triple H and Shawn Michaels proud.
Cities had 17 factors and eight rebounds by means of the primary 24 minutes of motion, whereas Embiid totaled 15 factors and 7 rebounds.
Two of the NBA’s most proficient younger stars exhibiting off their abilities and mixing in some animosity? Sure, extra of that, please.