Gregg Popovich Was Spot on With Pregame Comments Ahead of Joel Embiid's 70-Point Night

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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid made franchise history on Monday night when he dropped a career-high 70 points against Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs.

Prior to the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about how the team was planning to slow down Embiid, who has been on a tear throughout the season. Popovich, rather than provide a disingenuous answer, admitted that it may not matter how San Antonio approached the reigning MVP.

“I don’t think it matters what we do. I can give you some bulls– if you want,” Popovich said before the game, via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic

He could not have been more spot on with those comments. Embiid became the ninth player in NBA history with 70 or more points in a single game, as he shot 24-of-41 from the field and corralled 18 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass.

Popovich had joked with reporters prior to the game that San Antonio would use Wembanyama to back down Embiid in the paint.

“We’re gonna hammer his ass,” said Popovich, via Sam DiGiovanni of ClutchPoints. “I told Wemby to put your butt right in his stomach, back him down over the rim and just throw him through the rim.” 

Although Wembanyama enjoyed a solid night of his own with 33 points, Embiid’s dominance completely overshadowed his performance. The Spurs had no answers for the 29-year-old, as he was finding his shot at will throughout the night.


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