The Philadelphia 76ers have all the skill and ability to prove doubters wrong, that includes an Eastern Conference center that likes to talk a big game.
Trash talking is one of fun aspects that makes the NBA, the NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers have one of the better trash talkers in the Association in Joel Embiid. Embiid’s ability to trash talk is only second to his ability to back it up on the court with his dominant presence. Players should always have the skill to backup their trash talk and that’s not the case with Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson.
Tristan Thompson: “We’re still 4-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say. Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had homecourt Game 7 and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto – we know that story” pic.twitter.com/gnGqd4mGeM
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 27, 2018
It did not take long for Embiid to respond to Thompson’s comment on Instagram, however he wasn’t the only player to react to Thompson’s statement. Sixers point guard Ben Simmons and Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics also responded to Thompson. All three players’ comments on Thompson’s declaration can be seen in the tweet below.
😂 Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid & Marcus Morris respond to Tristan Thompson saying Boston & Philly still need to take down the Cavs.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 27, 2018
Beyond the illusion that Thompson has by stating that the Cavs have any chance of defending their Eastern Conference title, the Cavs will have a hard time making the playoffs with the departure of LeBron James. The Sixers, Celtics and Toronto Raptors are far more superior than Cleveland at this point. Even teams like the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards are arguably more talented teams than the Cavs.
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In that regard, Thompson doesn’t have any room to talk. His on-the-court production hasn’t been special either. He averaged career lows in a majority of categories last season. He averaged 5.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.3 in both steals and blocks.
Thompson was especially unimpressive when the Cavs faced the Sixers last season. In the two games that Thompson played in against the Sixers, he only averaged 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.5 steals. While the Sixers and Cavs split their regular season series last season at two games a piece, the Cavs lost both games that Thompson played in.
As currently constructed, the Cavs only have one proven All-Star in Kevin Love. Collin Sexton has the chance to eventually develop into an All-Star, but at the current moment it’s unlikely he makes the All-Star game this upcoming season. That leaves the Cavs with a mostly unproven roster that has no chance to compete against the Sixers young star talent in Embiid and Simmons.
In short, Thompson needs a reality check. The Cavaliers don’t have James anymore, the Cavs don’t have the roster to compete against other elites in the East and Thompson’s game can’t backup that type of trash talk. The Philadelphia 76ers should use Thompson’s trash talk as fuel when they matchup against the Cavs this season. It’s very possible that Embiid may trash talk Thompson in their first match up this season set for Nov. 23.