Joel Embiid to sit, Jimmy Butler ready to be booed as Philadelphia plays Minnesota
There will be no rematch. Not tonight, anyway.
But it will rain “boos” down on the court.
The Philadelphia 76ers travel to Minnesota tonight to take on the Timberwolves. It will be the first chance for Minnesota fans to let Jimmy Butler know how they feel about him torpedoing the Timberwolves season with a heavyhanded trade request right before the start of training camp (although Butler did let Tom Thibodeau know he wanted out much earlier and Thibs chose to turn a blind eye, which is a key reason he is no longer the coach or GM).
Butler is going to get booed and he knows it. And he is fine with it (WARNING, some graphic language ahead if that bothers you just skip on by).
Jimmy Butler: “I don’t care about being loved all the time, it’s no fun that way. I think people will pay way more attention whenever they dislike you or hate you... I welcome it. I embrace it. Let’s see what you can point out tonight.” pic.twitter.com/UuiCrPRPw5— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) March 30, 2019
What fuels you about fans booing?— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) March 30, 2019
Jimmy Butler: “Not shit. I’m cool. I’m gonna go in there and do what I’m supposed to do. If they boo, if they cheer — I don’t know what to say it’ll be.”
Butler also discussed why his conversation w/ Thibodeau was one of the toughest he’s had. pic.twitter.com/r4E2dkqafe
The more significant on the court issue in this game is that Joel Embiid will not play for Philadelphia. With the Sixers pretty much locked in as the three seed in the East (Boston and Indiana are 3.5 games back, four in the loss column, with seven games to play) the Sixers have prioritized keeping Embiid healthy and fresh heading into the postseason, so he is not playing on the entire three-game road trip.
Joel Embiid who will not play tonight (load management) will not meet the team on this trip.— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 30, 2019
Brett Brown says they will see Joel back in Philadelphia for the Milwaukee game.
Brett says they are just being proactive and smart about his load management.
Brown also has talked about the Sixers needing to find an identity heading into the playoffs, but that will not happen without Embiid on the court. He is the team’s best player.
Karl-Anthony Towns would have liked a rematch with Embiid. Back on Jan. 15 Embiid put up 31 points and 13 rebounds against Minnesota, while Towns was 4-of-10 shooting and a -42 on the night. The Sixers won by 42.
That rematch will have to wait until next season.