Joel Embiid trying not to recognize Trae Young?
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has torched the Philadelphia 76ers in just about every game of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the two teams, but Joel Embiid believes the point guard has gotten plenty of help from the officials. Though, we can only assume Embiid was talking about Young when he complained about the officiating following Game 6.

After the Sixers beat the Hawks on Friday night to even the series at 3-3, Embiid complained about calls not going both ways. In doing so, he referred to Young as Atlanta’s “point guard” twice rather than using his 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, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “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.”

We doubt it was a coincidence that Embiid avoided using Young’s name. Young has averaged more than 30 points per game in six games against Philadelphia, so perhaps Embiid is bitter about that.

Young only shot five free throws during Game 6, which was one more than Embiid had. The Hawks have made it clear they are focusing on slowing down Embiid, but the big man has matched Young’s scoring output with 30.3 points per game. Embiid is also averaging 13.0 rebounds per game in the series.

NBA playoff series have a tendency to get chippy, especially when they go to seven games. Embiid is simply fueling the tension by refusing to use Young’s name.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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