Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid can expect to hear from the league office after expressing his blunt opinion of the officiating in Tuesday’s latest loss to the Boston Celtics.
“The referees f—-ing suck,” the All-Star center said during his postgame press conference.
Embiid tallied 23 points and 14 rebounds, but was whistled for five personal fouls as Philadelphia fell to 0-3 this season against Boston.
The Celtics are 10-2 against the Sixers since the start of last season, including a 4-1 series victory in the 2018 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Embiid’s frustration was fueled by a sequence in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s 112-109 loss. He missed a potential game-tying jumper after Boston center Al Horford appeared to hit his arm. There was no call from the officials.
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward praised Horford’s defense against Embiid.
“Al’s a smart defender, so I think he’s able to use spacing and angles and really kind of knows when to gap and when to get up to him,” Hayward said. “He’s also just a tough defender, like taking bumps, not getting backed all the way down and then still being long enough to contest his jump shots.”
Before expressing his colorful thoughts on the referees, Embiid said Horford’s defense was nothing special.
“He’s not doing anything,” Embiid said. “I was sleep-walking for three quarters, and that’s on me. Like I said, that’s on me. It had nothing to do with anybody.”
The Sixers and Celtics began Wednesday tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They meet for the final time in the regular season on March 20 in Philadelphia.
—Field Level Media