When the final buzzer sounded after the Boston Celtics' 117-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, not only did the Celtics defeat the Sixers, but they also once again destroyed Joel Embiid’s confidence. The Celtics have owned the reigning MVP center over the last five years, and after Wednesday’s victory, I think it's safe to say that the Cs have broken Embiid.
Boston now owns real estate in Embiid’s head.
Embiid was held to just 20 points and was a -25 for the game, due to the strong defense from Al Horford. The 20 points were significant as it was just the second time in 2023 (including last season) that Embiid was held to 20 points or fewer. The other game was when he had a calf strain that limited his minutes. His -25 was also significant as it was just the sixth time in 406 career games that Embiid was a -25 or worse, with three of those six games coming against the Celtics.
The facts simply show that Embiid is rattled by the Celtics, and he almost feels as though he has no chance to beat them. Post-game, Embiid praised the Celtics, calling them the best team in the NBA.
Joel Embiid sounds like a broken man when talking about the Boston Celtics
After losing to the Celtics three times in the postseason and countless times in the regular season, that feels like a comment from a broken man. The fact that Embiid said that is shocking because it's a sign of having no confidence.
The Celtics have to feel great about this development because Embiid and the Sixers are arguably their biggest threat in the Eastern Conference. If the Celtics can enter a series against Philadelphia having already won the mental battle, that would be a huge advantage.
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