Stephen A. Smith Reveals Strong Take For Knicks, 76ers Series

Joel Embiid, Jalen Brunson, Knicks, 76ers, NBA Playoffs
NBA Analysis Network

The New York Knicks would have preferred a different first-round playoff opponent, given the formidable challenge posed by the Philadelphia 76ers, particularly with Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP, leading the charge.

Despite this, Stephen A. Smith asserts that the Knicks need not fret under the current circumstances.

During the latest segment of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith expressed confidence, suggesting that the only potential threat to the Knicks is hampered by injury.

“The only person that’s going to be able to have an answer … is Embiid, who once again, is hobbled.”

While acknowledging the commendable leadership of head coach Nick Nurse and praising Tyrese Maxey, whom he deems worthy of a max contract extension, Smith remains unconvinced that the Knicks will succumb to the Sixers, especially with home-court advantage and Embiid’s compromised state.

Although the Sixers have maintained an unbeaten streak since Embiid’s return, his performance is visibly hampered.

His agility, speed, and explosiveness have been notably affected by a knee injury, raising doubts about his ability to regain top form in time for this series.

Embiid’s postseason track record has been marred by injury setbacks, undermining his impact.

Despite the favorable opportunity for the Sixers to avoid facing the Boston Celtics until the Eastern Conference Finals, Embiid’s peak performance remains essential for their success.

Furthermore, considering the Knicks’ formidable defensive prowess, the 76ers may find themselves in a brief and challenging series.

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