Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley Had Strong Words for Joel Embiid

Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley Had Strong Words for Joel Embiid

NBA

Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley Had Strong Words for Joel Embiid

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The Philadelphia 76ers were terrible in Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors. Joel Embiid, struggling with a litany of maladies, was bad too, scoring only 13 points and turning the ball over eight times. The big man slunk off the court before the final buzzer mercifully ended a 36-point drubbing and must be way better if the Sixers are to win Games 6 and 7.

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley had some strong criticism for Embiid during the postgame show. The former talked about how a great player needs to battle through the excuses. The latter said Embiid’s body language is sucking the energy from his team and becoming a net-negative.

O’Neal is not optimistic Embiid and crew are going to get things together in order to face a winner-take-all situation.

It’s pretty easy to sympathize with the Sixers’ star. Last night he was working through a respiratory issue. Assorted other parts of his body are balky. It sure sounds like there’s been some lingering diarrhea.

But no one said being a star is fair. There’s a higher standard and falling short of it opens the floodgates of criticism.

One thing I’d say, though, is save some of the critiquing for Ben Simmons. He scored 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting last night, essentially taking himself out of the game. It’s extremely difficult to win when one of your primary ballhanders refuses to shoot.

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