USA Today Images

Joel Had The Bleeps, James Had The Buckets

Embiid, Butler Lead Sixers To Big Win

April 30, 2019 - 1:36 pm
Categories: 

Meanwhile, there were actual NBA playoff games played last night. Like Philadelphia at Toronto for Game 2 of their series. And if you’ll recall, back in Game 1, Kawhi Leonard went off for 45 points. He was taken out of Game 1 with more than 3 minutes to go and Toronto leading by 19. It was a blowout. And it looked like the series was going to be a complete mismatch.

That looked even more likely when Joel Embiid was sick and missed the morning shootaround. He hit the IVs and if you saw him on the court, you could tell he was banged up. How banged up? Well, just ask him. And prepare for the graphic description that follows.

Insert – needs to be bleeped

I’m not sure what’s better – Jo’s child-like delight in sharing all the details of his bathroom adventures. Or Jimmy Butler saying “Jo…Jo…” to get him to stop.

And just as Jimmy Butler was there to prevent Jo from going too far, Jimmy Butler was there to prevent the Sixers falling into an 0-2 hole.

That was a man’s game from Jimmy Butler. 30 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists. Yeah, I’d say be bounced back from that 10-point performance in Game 1.

How good a game was that? Brett Brown was looking to rename Jimmy Butler.

James Butler, if you need him. And the Sixers did need him. They needed him in the worst way.

Except, that’s not actually Jimmy’s name. His actual name is Jimmy. But he still was the adult in the gym. That was a monster performance when it was needed most.

Butler was scoring.

Butler was distributing

And Jo was still able to step up when it matters.

And it wasn’t just about what Philly did on offense, it was about what everyone did on defense.

That is why you make the trade for Jimmy Butler. For moments like that. For moments in the playoffs when Jo is dealing with, well, whatever Jo was dealing with and couldn’t wait to tell everyone about.

As JJ Redick said: "It was a great night for him to just kind of put his head down and be the guy.” He was the guy. And yet all the guy wanted to do after the game was talk about defense.

"I'm telling you, whenever we let our defense dictate our offense, we're such a great team. We can't let it be the other way around."

Butler was so solid on defense, that he kept up that defending in the postgame, trying to prevent Jo from going bathroom humor on everyone.

Philly’s defensive approach was exposed in Game 1. Leonard and the Raptors ran wild. But an NBA series is all about adjustments. And Philly adjusted incredibly well.

After giving up 108 in Game 1, they held Toronto to 89 in Game 2. That’s the first time the Raptors have had less than 90 points in four months. That is incredible.

Suddenly, this whole series has a different feel to it. Philly ripped home court. They have an identity on defense. And they’re going back to Philly where Jo can rest up, get some fluids, and look to be back to being Jo in Game 3. Well, Jo is always going to be Jo, even when he’s sick. A stomach bug isn’t going to keep him from being the best postgame interview of all time.

One more time, Joel Embiid.

"If you've had the bleeps before, you'd know how it feels." There is only one Joel Embiid. Other NBA superstars will play through a condition like that. No other NBA superstar is doing a postgame press conference like that.