NBA Playoffs: Caris Levert takes issue with apology from 76ers' Joel Embiid after elbowing Nets teammate in Game 2
Levert didn't appreciate Embiid's laugh-filled apology: 'We didn't really like that. We thought that was kind of disrespectful'
It looks like the Brooklyn Nets now have some extra motivation for Game 3.
As the sixth-seeded Nets prepare to host the No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night for the first time in this opening-round series, their 145-123 Game 2 loss won't be the only thing weighing on their minds. During the loss, Joel Embiid landed a hard elbow on the head of Nets center Jarrett Allen. Although the Sixers big man apologized after the game, he did so while laughing along with teammate Ben Simmons.
"I got him pretty good, but I'm sorry about it," Embiid said. Simmons began to laugh, which caused Embiid to laugh before continuing. "I'm sorry about it. It wasn't intentional ... But it's just me trying to be aggressive. I'm not usually humble. That's why he's [Simmons] laughing."
"We didn't really like that. We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw," LeVert said after the Nets practiced Wednesday. "It is what it is. There's no love lost. It's a playoff series. We expect that."
Embiid's elbow to Allen's face was ruled a Flagrant 1 foul. There was much debate among TNT's "Inside the NBA" crew about whether or not it should have warranted being a Flagrant 2 foul. In the case of a Flagrant 2 foul, a player is automatically ejected if assessed.
Nets veteran Jared Dudley downplayed the situation. However, he also noted the serious injury that could have resulted from Embiid's elbow.
"I felt a certain type of way for it just because you're laughing and someone could have really gotten hurt," Dudley said. "Now, luckily, Jay did pop up. That's been Embiid's personality, but just because it's your personality doesn't mean it's right. So for us, you can either get even however you want to do it, but the biggest thing for us to get even is winning Game 3."
As emotional as Brooklyn wants to get following Embiid's careless elbow, the real frustration lies underneath the fact that the Nets simply were beaten down in Game 2. After surprising Philly in Game 1 with a victory on their home court, the sixth-seeded Nets completely crumbled apart in Game 2 with a demoralizing loss.
If the Nets truly want to get even with Embiid and the Sixers, they'll have to find a way to beat them in Game 3 to take a 2-1 advantage in this series. More importantly, they'll have to find a way to slow down Philadelphia's offensive attack after allowing an NBA-record 51 points during the third quarter of Game 2.
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