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Joel Embiid has established himself as one of the NBA‘s preeminent jokesters, and he said Friday that he plans to have some fun when the Philadelphia 76ers square off against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
Speaking to reporters after shootaround, Embiid said he was looking forward to matching up against the defending champions because of some playful offseason smack talk he had with Draymond Green.
“I saw Draymond this summer and I told him that I was going to kick his ass,” Embiid said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey. “I can’t wait to play against him. I love the way that he talks trash, and I feel like I’m kind of like the same. It’s going to be a fun battle, especially going against Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson], [Kevin Durant].”
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
#Sixers @joelembiid shares what he told #Warriors all-star @Money23Green https://t.co/VJLAEva89O
When the two sides hit the floor Saturday night, the Sixers will be aiming to get back on track after they lost to the Sacramento Kings in the waning seconds on Thursday:
In order to do so, Embiid will need to be at his best.
And if his play to this point in the season has been any indication, he could represent a handful for a smaller Warriors front line.
Through nine appearances, the 23-year-old is averaging 20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 blocks while shooting 49.6 percent from the field. According to Basketball-Reference.com, DeMarcus Cousins is the only other player averaging at least 20 points, 10 boards, three dimes and 1.5 swats a night thus far.
The Warriors, though, have won five straight and currently wield a defense that’s allowing a stingy 102.0 points per 100 possessions.
Stats courtesy of NBA.com unless noted otherwise.