Sixers center Joel Embiid will cover whatever fine Jimmy Butler receives for being ejected from today’s game with the Nets, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The incident happened in the third quarter after Embiid received a Flagrant 1 foul while blocking a shot by Jarrett Allen. Jared Dudley physically confronted Embiid, and Butler pushed Dudley in the back. Dudley was also ejected for the fracas, and an NBA spokesman said fines could be announced tomorrow.
“I for sure fed off that,” Embiid said. “The fact that he had my back, I will pay the fine and it was great to see.”
Butler stood by his actions in the post-game press conference.
“I am just there to protect my big fella,” he told reporters. “If somebody runs up on him, I will push them again.”
There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:
- The Sixers once again waited until shortly before tip-off to decide that Embiid would play, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid’s status was listed as doubtful 90 minutes before the game, but the medical staff determined he could go. “It’s dictated by the doctors more than the coach — what harm are we putting him in? What unnecessary harm are we putting him in?” coach Brett Brown said. “If the answer is none, then you play him. Then it gets down to whatever level it is, then you question it.”
- The trade that brought D’Angelo Russell from the Lakers was just one of the ways the Nets were able to speed up their rebuilding process, writes Ian Begley of ESPN. Another was the hiring of coach Kenny Atkinson, who was able to guide the organization through dark times as it tried to rebuild with just one first-round pick in three years. “You’re just questioning yourself,” Atkinson said. “The next day, you’re renewed, refreshed and you get back on track, but I have to be honest: There were doubts.”
- Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times examines how much the Raptors‘ fortunes in the playoffs will matter to Kawhi Leonard this summer when he decides whether to stay in Toronto.