Joel Embiid just had a performance for the ages - 59 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 7 blocks, and a steal; 19-28 from the field, 20-24 from the charity stripe. Considering how unstoppable he was playing, you would think that Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers would call for his players to keep feeding him the ball. However, after the game, Tyrese Maxey revealed that Rivers called for a pick-and-roll play at one point, but the third-year guard said he waved the call off to ride the big man's hot hand.
Throwing Rivers under the bus?
That Maxey would appear to throw his coach under the bus is quite a brave act. After all, it's usually the other way around because Rivers has become known for throwing his players to the wolves. Just ask Paul George, Ben Simmons, and James Harden, among others.
Of course, it could have been just an innocent comment from Maxey. The 22-year-old may have intended to emphasize how dominant Embiid was against the Utah Jazz.
Still, one can only wonder if the Sixers players are starting to turn on their coach, who has been underwhelming so far this season. In addition, Rivers has been on the receiving end of criticism for his lack of offensive creativity. Many people around the league believe that a roster stacked with elite and good offensive players shouldn't be scoring just 108.8 points per game, which ranks 25th in the Associaton.
But Embiid may have saved his coach's job with the way he dismantled the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
The Process' historic night
The five-time NBA All-Star put up stats that, according to StatMuse, have never been seen before.
Embiid's two-way dominance in his recent games showed that it's early to write off the Sixers, despite a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign. In the game prior to the Jazz tiff, the former No. 3 draft pick also posted huge numbers, scoring 42 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lift Philadelphia to a win against the Atlanta Hawks.
Thanks to Embiid's heroics, the Sixers are now on a two-game winning streak that bumped them up in the Eastern Conference standings with a 7-7 record.
As for Rivers, hopefully, he has learned his lesson and continues to run the offense around Embiid's strengths.