76ers

Joel Embiid is one flagrant foul away from suspension in NBA playoffs

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While the Sixers gear up for Game 7 Sunday in Toronto, they may have a pressing issue to deal with if they advance.

The Flagrant 1 Joel Embiid was assessed in Thursday night’s Game 6 win will not be rescinded, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

It is the third Flagrant 1 Embiid has been issued during the playoffs. If he picks up another at any point in the playoffs, he’ll serve an automatic one-game suspension. For example, if he commits one in Game 7 against the Raptors and the Sixers win, he’d be forced to miss Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Milwaukee.

The NBA has a points system when it comes to flagrant fouls in the playoffs. A Flagrant 1 is worth one point and a Flagrant 2 is worth two. If a player with three points, like Embiid, picks up a Flagrant 1, they’re suspended for one game. If they pick up a Flagrant 2, it’s two games. If you reach five points, any flagrant foul thereafter is an automatic two-game suspension.

The fact that we’re even having this conversation and having to explain this is ridiculous. In watching the replay Thursday night, the act didn’t look “hostile.”

Watching it again Friday afternoon, it doesn’t look any more “hostile.” It looks like Marc Gasol hooks Embiid and Embiid is trying to get his arm loose. In that process, Embiid accidentally hits Gasol in the face (see video above). Credit to Gasol for making it look like he took a left hook from Joe Frazier.

 

The two flagrants Embiid picked up against Brooklyn were much tougher to argue — especially the elbow to Jarrett Allen — but this didn’t seem close. If he winds up picking up another, the officials better be damn sure they get it right. It would a shame for the NBA to have a couple dubious calls affect a playoff game and series in that way.

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