On Nov. 11 the Warriors handed the Sixers a 135-114 loss on the road. Four days later Joel Embiid had a career night, posting 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and seven blocks in a 115-109 victory over the Lakers.
Saturday the Sixers host the Warriors, who are looking to rebound after a loss in Boston.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr saw what Embiid was able to do against L.A. and knows that when he is playing well, the Sixers are a bigger threat.
“I think young players and young teams can kind of have breakthroughs and I think that may have happened with Philadelphia honestly,” Kerr said after the Warriors shoot around Saturday morning. “When we saw Embiid last week, he didn’t have a great game…but you can see his growth from one game to the next and what he did in L.A. was terrifying.”
For the most part, the Warriors were able to keep Embiid and Ben Simmons in check, with Draymond Green guarding Simmons, and a healthy dose of double teams on Embiid. Kerr knows though that the Sixers are going to be ready to give Golden State their best shot.
“We did a good job of it last time, but they’re going to be more prepared for it tonight,” he said.
Joel Embiid’s rivalry with Draymond Green
The two players are never ones to shy away from trash talk and have a mutual respect for the ability to get under an opponents skin.
“I think it’s fun. I love watching Joel, you can see he’s got an edge, but it’s a playful edge, I loved what he said about Draymond,” Kerr said.
What Kerr was referring to was, prior to the previous matchup, Embiid saying that over the summer that he talked to Green and told him “I’m going to kick his [expletive].”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 10, 2017
Embiid and Golden State’s Kevin Durant both received technical fouls in the Nov. 11 bout following some chippy words. After the game Green said he didn’t think there should have been a foul called when players are just talking trash.
Green doubled down on his love of a healthy dose of trash talk Saturday, saying that Embiid is one of his favorite players in the NBA.
“Guys don’t play and talk no more, so somebody who loves that and embraces that, I enjoy it. So it’s been refreshing to me to see somebody like that,” Green said.