76ers

Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond squash beef

Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond squash beef

BOX SCORE

What started with verbal jabs on Twitter and in the media ended with a hug.

Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond traded their pregame banter for mutual appreciation following the Sixers' 108-103 win over the Pistons (see observations).

“I love having fun on social media,” Embiid said. “He does too. So we’re just young kids having fun out there.”

It wasn’t easy to tell which way this matchup would go. Following their first game in October, Embiid commented Drummond doesn’t play defense (see story), which prompted Drummond to tweet “See you Dec 2nd.” 

Embiid then said Drummond can’t shoot, and Drummond snapped back by noting Embiid’s playing restrictions.

Back and forth. Back and forth.

But the extent of their hostility turned out to be Embiid working toward fouling out Drummond, which happened with 2:35 to play. Six fouls, no spat, and a matchup between a 23- and 24-year old to watch for seasons to come.

“Before this game, I told my teammates that he was going to foul out and he did,” Embiid said. “But it’s all fun. At the end of the game, we hugged it out.”

Embiid recorded his 12th double-double with 25 points (7 for 21 from the field) and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes during his 50th career game.

Drummond was a menace across the floor. He posted 14 points (4 for 8 from the field), 11 rebounds, six assists, five steals and a block in 35 minutes. Drummond hit 6 of 8 free throw attempts and was the only Pistons starter on the positive side of the plus-minus.

"It's never hard feelings,” Drummond said. “When was the last time you seen two real big men go at it? It was just a great matchup, I look forward to playing him again. Obviously a hell of a player. I have nothing negative to say about him.”

Drummond and Embiid will go against each other another two times this regular season. They could face off in the playoffs if the Sixers and Pistons continue at this pace, and they end up being selected as All-Stars given how well they are performing.

The first two meetings of this season are only the beginning of how closely the bigs likely will be linked throughout their careers. And so far, they're all for pushing each other in this competition.

NBA admits mistake that leaves Sixers scratching their heads

ap-brett-brown-sixers-thunder.jpg
AP Images

NBA admits mistake that leaves Sixers scratching their heads

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers were right.

The Sixers argued they should have set up at halfcourt, not fullcourt, for a decisive final possession of double overtime in Friday’s game against the Thunder. After a closer look following their triple-overtime loss, the NBA ruled the Sixers were proved correct. 

“After review, it was determined that the 76ers called timeout with 00:01.2 remaining on the game clock, which was prior to Saric's (PHI) dribble. Therefore, they should have been given the opportunity to advance the ball into their own frontcourt for the inbound,” the NBA Officiating’s Last Two Minute Report noted.

The confusion occurred at the end of the second overtime. Dario Saric got a defensive rebound and the Sixers called a timeout before he dribbled the ball. Because of this, the Sixers should have been allowed to set up a final play in the halfcourt, which is exactly what they had practiced and called.

But the referees made a last-second change as the Sixers were setting up. The Sixers were told they had to inbound from fullcourt, which would have been the case if Saric had dribbled before the timeout. The Last Two Minute Report indicated he, in fact, did not. 

“Respect that they are that transparent, but complete disappointment that it can happen,” Brett Brown said Sunday. “You really scratch your head. It’s significant.”

Every play, every basket can make a difference for a team fighting to make the playoffs. The Sixers were confident they could have won the game with the halfcourt play. Instead, they dropped back down to .500 and currently 10 in the Eastern Conference.

“Those things you need to avoid to give yourself every chance to win,” Brown said. “We can point to many other things that were self-inflicted wounds that we’ve got to do better. But when it’s that exposed and that prominent of an environment with 1.2 seconds left, it’s disappointing. But like I say, they’re transparent. I respect the fact they admitted it and we move on.”

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid does not play both games of a back-to-back, but whether he plays in either of the Sixers' next two matchups will have to be determined.

Embiid is not traveling with the Sixers to Chicago for Monday’s game against the suddenly-streaking Bulls, who have won five straight. The big man usually plays at home in these scenarios, and considering he played 49 minutes in Friday’s triple-overtime loss, the decision was expected.

Embiid’s availability for Tuesday at home against the Kings, though, has not been finalized at this point. This is not surprising either being two days ahead of the game. Embiid, who has been dealing with back tightness, did not participate in practice Sunday. The Sixers will evaluate, monitor, and go through treatment with Embiid before making their call.

“Unsure at this stage,” Brett Brown said Sunday. “I do know he’s categorically out tomorrow and we’re going to learn more about him being available when we come back [for] Sacramento, I’d expect in the next 24 hours.”

The Sixers do know they will be without another two players for some time.

Trevor Booker will miss at least the next two games after suffering spraining his left ankle Friday. The newly acquired reserve will be reevaluated in approximately five-to-seven days.

Even though Booker was traded to the Sixers less than two weeks ago, he already made an impact on the second unit. Brown has seen enough over the last four games to know what the team will be missing.

“His toughness,” Brown said. “He’s got a motor. He plays with such a spirit. He’s a man. He’s a pro. He’s been in the league for a while. He gets it. It’s everything that you miss. It’s really everything this team needs.”

Furkan Korkmaz likely will be sidelined even longer. The rookie suffered a Lisfranc injury on his left foot while playing for the Delaware 87ers on Dec. 15 and is out indefinitely. The Sixers recalled Korkmaz from the G League and he is going through evaluation and testing. There is no timetable set for Korkmaz at this point.  

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons described the injury as, “Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries result if bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of the injury can vary from simple to complex, involving many joints and bones in the midfoot.”

Korkmaz has been going back and forth between the Sixers and their G League affiliate in Delaware to get playing opportunities as part of his development in his first NBA season.