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“It wasn’t like it went to some scrub, it went to Nikola Jokic”: Stephen A. Smith questions Joel Embiid’s intent as Heat thrash Sixers by a 35-point margin

Arjun Julka

"It wasn't like it went to some scrub, it went to Nikola Jokic": Stephen A. Smith questions Joel Embiid's intent as Heat thrash Sixers by a 35-point margin

Veteran NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith questions Joel Embiid’s will to play as the Heat thrash the Sixers in Game Five. 

The Miami Heat are now one win away from clinching a spot in the ECF, coasting through Game Five with a 35-point win against the visiting Sixers. A pumped DJ Khaled seated at the frontcourt seats said it all, getting the home crowd to its feet.

On the other hand, there seemed to be a lack of effort from the Philly camp, with Joel Embiid looking detached from the game, leading to several speculations, starting with Nikola Jokic winning the 2022 NBA MVP.

While nobody can question The Joker being a deserving candidate, many believed Embiid was winning it. The Cameroon native has been phenomenal this season, carrying his team, for the most part this season amid the Ben Simmons controversy followed by James Harden’s inconsistencies.

Also read: “If Joel Embiid is playing half-heartedly because he didn’t win MVP, then he never should”: Skip Bayless adds on to Charles Barkley’s take on Sixers star as Heat thrash them in Game 5

Thus many were surprised by Embiid’s performance in a crucial Game Five, with fans and analysts questioning if this was his way of voicing his dissent against not getting the MVP honors.

Stephen A. Smith wonders if Joel Embiid was pissed for not getting the MVP award.

The recently crowned scoring champion had a mere 17-points against the Heat in Game Five. Embiid attempted a 12-shots from the field and had 5-rebounds. There was a lack of aggression evident in Embiid’s body language in the game.

The Sixers were coming off back-to-back wins at home and had tied the series at 2-2 going into Tuesday night’s game. With the momentum being on their side, the Philly team had a great chance to steal one on the road. However, they seemed beat from the tip-off itself.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith was baffled by the Philly team’s horrid performance, going as far as questioning Embiid’s efforts in the game.

While Smith admitted to giving his vote to Embiid, he believed Jokic was no less a deserving candidate. The First Take analyst expected to see more fight from the Sixers big man.

Also read: “Joel Embiid is so distracted in my opinion by this MVP thing”: Charles Barkley believes the Big Cameroon needs to channel his anger in the right direction

With the Heat leading the series 3-2, it’s a must-win Game Six for the Sixers, who head back to the Wells Fargo Center.

About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka


Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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