Playoff time is when everybody in the NBA gets chippy. It's especially true when a series runs more than four or five games. Playing the same team, over and over, for two weeks straight at the highest level with the highest stakes imaginable means everyone is too familiar with each other and leads to a lot of jawing and the occasional shove.
We've seen that come to fruition in this Hawks-Sixers series. John Collins jammed an alley-oop all over Joel Embiid last night and stared him down, which led to a later confrontation that resulted in double technicals for that pair. Occasionally this sort of thing carries over to the postgame press conferences.
It did last night, at least, as Embiid complained about the inconsistent officiating and refused to call Trae Young by his birth name. He merely referred to Young as "the point guard." Per ESPN:
ATLANTA -- After the 76ers' 104-99 Game 6 win Friday to tie up their second-round series with the Hawks, Joel Embiid was so fed up with how he viewed the officiating for him compared to Atlanta's superstar leader that he wouldn't even say Trae Young's name.
"I just felt like it wasn't called both ways, especially because of the minimal contact that they get on the point guard, and when it comes to us, we don't get the same thing," Embiid said after Philadelphia came back from down 12 in the first quarter to win. "So I just want it called both ways. If you're going to call something like nothing on their point guard, it should be the same way and call the same thing [for] me when I get -- if I get -- touched."
Embiid probably has a right to complain but can't really do anything about this because of the size discrepancy. It's human nature to react when a smaller guard like Young gets hacked because he will probably go flying more often than not. Embiid is a giant of a man and likely gets fouled on basically every possession, but the refs can't call it every time and so have to pick and choose their spots. Embiid has not been a fan of how they've done so thus far.
Anywho, referring to Young as the point guard is hilarious because Young has eviscerated the Sixers defense in pretty much every game this series. Nobody will forget his name in Philly anytime soon.