Joel Embiid made it clear he’s not the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers several times throughout the 2021-2022 NBA season. Following the Sixers’ Game 6 loss at home against the Miami Heat, Embiid reiterated that he’s not one to try and get into Daryl Morey’s head when it comes to making moves.
However, during his postgame press conference on Thursday night, Embiid publicly made a roster suggestion as he would like the Sixers to add an enforcer.
“We had a few tough guys since I’ve been here,” Embiid said on Thursday. The big man’s comments came after playing in six games against Miami Heat’s seasoned veteran, PJ Tucker.
While Tucker is a well-established three-point shooter who averaged 41-percent from three this past season, the veteran guard brings a defensive intensity to the court, which boosts a physicality – something the Sixers lacked in the second round.
“I can recall [having] Mike Scott, but he did not play a lot of minutes, “Embiid continued.” When you have size and toughness, you look at someone like PJ Tucker. A great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether it’s on the defensive end or rebounding the ball. “
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After taking a beatdown in Game 5 on the road against the Heat, several Sixers players pointed to a lack of physicality as a reason why they could not put up a better fight against Miami. In Game 6, you could say the same as Philadelphia’s physicality and effort were questioned throughout the matchup. Playing with a lack of juice did not always happen with the Sixers throughout the year, but perhaps it never happens with an energetic enforcer in the rotation.
“He plays with so much energy,” Embiid said regarding Tucker. “He believes he can get from point A to point B, and he believes that no one can beat him. And he’s tough. He’s physical and tough. “They have a few of those guys, whether it’s Bam and all those guys, and since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said that we’ve had those types of guys.”
Embiid made it clear he has “nothing against” the reported roster from this past season, but he could not help but bluntly point out a glaring hole on the team after they were outworked physically on the court in the second round of the playoffs.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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