Joel Embiid spoke candidly about the state of the Philadelphia 76ers following their Game 6 elimination by the Miami Heat. For the second straight season and third time in four seasons, the Sixers were eliminated in the second round.
"Since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden," Embiid said. "But that's not who he is anymore. He's more of a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been, as all of us could have been, more aggressive. All of us whether it was Tyrese [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] or guys coming off the bench.
"And I'm not just talking about offensively. I'm talking about, you know, as a whole offensively and defensively. I didn't think we were good defensively as a team. They took advantage of a lot of stuff that we tried to do defensively. And then offensively just really everybody being on the same page, obviously, only having probably what, three or four months to all work together and try to figure it out. Maybe it wasn't a lot of time. ... I don't think we played our best basketball."
Embiid also praised Jimmy Butler.
"Obviously, that's my guy," Embiid said. "That's my brother. Oh, man, it's tough. But I'm so proud of him. He's playing an unreal level right now. He's something else right now. I'm proud of him being at this level and carrying them and what he's been able to do. They've had ups and downs the whole season. Missing guys, not being healthy, and, they still found a way to be the No. 1 team in the East, and to be able to come in and do what they did, they deserve a lot of credit. They have a great team, great guys overall. And obviously great coaching and a great front offense. So a lot of credit to them.
"Like I said, I'm happy for him. I mean, I won't sit here and say I didn't wish he was my teammate. I still don't know how we let him go. I wish I could have gone to battle with him still. But it is what it is. I just gotta keep building and keep trying to reach that goal."