Celtics players wanted Joel Embiid to 'man up' after all trash talking

It isn't the result that the 76ers were to looking to have, but it doesn't diminish what was a promising season by the franchise with a significant step forward led by their young dynamic duo of Embiid and Ben Simmons.

In the season-ending Game 5 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, Joel Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers.

The Celtics have exposed Simmons' poor shooting by standing off him and daring him to shoot while smothering the 76ers' arsenal of three-point shooters JJ Redick, Dario Saric, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova with defenders. But they also thought they were capable of more right now. We committed a lot of mistakes [in the series]. I think we've just got to go in, focus, lock in and handle business. "I think mentally I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays".

"Coming into this building and arena the fans are awesome here", Simmons said.

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The spectacle known as the Sixers will keep the NBA Playoffs compelling for years to come if - and this caveat always must be included when discussing Embiid, who missed his first two pro seasons due to injuries - the multi-skilled Cameroonian known as "The Process" can remain healthy. "And for the next decade, we're going to have a lot of fun battles". "So, second series and I'm learning, there's a lot of things I learned this series that I didn't against Miami so that makes me a better player, so I'm grateful for those opportunities".

"I'm just learning, this is just the start for me, I have a long way to go", Simmons said.

"I'm excited to learn from this stuff, because I felt like we had a pretty good chance", the big man continued, "but you've just gotta learn from it and we're gonna be fine". Ultimately, Wednesday night came down to the young stars in green & white making more plays when it really mattered than the ones in blue.

  • Regina Holmes