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Joel Embiid on Raptors defense: ‘They’re just playing reckless’


Joel Embiid will face a familiar foe when the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors meet for a seven-game series in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

In six seasons, Embiid played against the Raptors in 17 regular season games as well as a 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals streak that ended with a game-winning buzzer-beater from Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. in game 7.

Embiid, 28, says all that experience against the Raptors means he knows exactly what to expect when the playoffs begin for the 76ers on Saturday, and he’s not too worried about it.

“The way they defend me has never changed,” Embiid said Thursday, via PhillyVoice. “They just play recklessly, sending three guys on me as soon as the ball is in the air. Which honestly has made me better, over the years. Just playing against them and watching them, they definitely makes me a better playmaker.”

Embiid averaged 21.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in regular season games against the Raptors. Three years ago, he recorded 17.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in the playoffs against Toronto. This season, Embiid won the NBA scoring title with over 30 points per game.

The Raptors finished the season seventh in the NBA in points against, and Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet finished in the league’s top 10 in steals per game.




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