Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has been around this block before, he knew the moment he opened his mouth to utter this sentence what was coming (via ESPNNewYork.com):
“If flopping is the way to go, then we have to maybe play that game,” Kidd said later. “But Joe (Johnson) is a strong individual and unfortunately, he doesn’t flop. He plays and he doesn’t complain. But that’s why we have officials, for them to make calls.”
As expected, the league came down Friday with a $25,000 fine on Kidd for his comments.
Johnson was at the heart of the Nets’ 26 point comeback against the Raptors in Game 5, a charge that fell just short at the end. The Nets did a great job of getting Johnson the ball at the free throw line, putting shooters around him and let him create for himself and others. It worked. He just didn’t get a lot of foul calls.
Kidd wants those calls in Game 6 Friday night, (and In Game 7 Sunday if there is one). So he was willing to pay the price to plant the seed in the officials’ heads.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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