With a great deal of discussion around Draymond Green’s ejection and eventual suspension, NBA observers are on high alert when it comes to on-court skirmishes and how they could impact player availability. On Thursday evening, it did not take long for fireworks to begin during Game 3 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets, with Joel Embiid and Nic Claxton involved.
Fewer than three minutes into the game, Embiid hit the deck as he fouled Claxton, who stepped over Embiid and received a kick in response from the MVP candidate.
Joel Embiid didn't appreciate Nic Claxton stepping over him
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 20, 2023
Claxton was given a technical foul for the step-over and, while many believed Embiid should be given a Flagrant 2 foul that would be accompanied by an ejection, he dodged a bullet and was simply given a Flagrant 1. That felt like a break for Philadelphia, especially given the early juncture of the game and just how important Embiid is to everything the 76ers do on both ends.
In fact, Embiid is the betting favorite to win the NBA MVP award and, with Brooklyn’s primary defensive weakness emanating from a lack of bulk and size, it would’ve been a potentially disastrous moment for Philadelphia. Still, that didn’t happen, and it will be very interesting to see what Embiid and Claxton have to say after the game, to go along with intriguing reactions that will inevitably compare this reaction to the immediate ejection of Green just hours prior.