Wednesday’s night game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers was loaded with intensity, a potential Finals preview between the teams with the best record in each conference. It certainly delivered on drama with MVP candidates LeBron James and Joel Embiid trading monster performances and a buzzer-beating jumper from Tobias Harris delivering the win for Philadelphia.
All that tension was exacerbated by an ugly foul from LeBron on Embiid that was called a flagrant 1.
It was clearly a foul on LeBron but it may have been one of those plays that looked worse because of the way Embiid fell (and stayed down). LeBron’s push is fairly minor but Marc Gasol also shoves him in the back and the combination seems to put Embiid off-balance, causing him to land on his back instead of his feet.
What did Joel Embiid have to say about LeBron James’ flagrant foul?
Embiid is not one to let any slight, real or imagined, pass without comment and this was no exception.
Embiid has a point and it’s just lucky that he wasn’t hurt badly. And you can bet this will add a little extra heat to any future matchups between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The NBA hasn’t released its full schedule but for what they have, through Mar. 3, there are no additional games between the Lakers and 76ers. The structure of the schedule is supposed to have them playing again this spring, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has indicated a possibility that not every team will be able to complete all 72 games because of COVID-related cancellations and delays.
It’s at least possible that LeBron and Embiid don’t get a chance to revisit this beef in person until Game 1 of the NBA Finals.