"The whole East was hurt, myself included" - Joel Embiid questions Celtics' credibility as NBA title contenders 

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
Joel Embiid questions Celtics' credibility as NBA title contenders

Former MVP Joel Embiid has questioned the credibility of the NBA Finalists Boston Celtics. The Sixers' star was invited as a guest panelist on the "NBA Countdown" show and when host Malika Andrews entertained the thought of the Celtics starting a dynasty of multiple championship wins, Embiid had a quick response:

"I don't think so, not with the new CBA. The whole East was hurt myself included," Embiid said.

The former MVP remarked that most of the star players in the Eastern Conference were hurt or sidelined because of major injuries, hinting that the Celtics had an easy run to the finals this season.

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The Philadelphia 76ers had their season cut short in the opening round of the playoffs, losing 4-2 in the series to the New York Knicks. Embiid was not in his best form as he was nursing an injury but had to return early to help his team out.

Similarly, the Knicks were without their star guard Julius Randle who had undergone a season-ending surgery. Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler was also sidelined with an injury when the Heat faced the Celtics in the first round, while Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton was sidelined with an injury mid-way through the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics.

Joel Embiid expresses his dislike for Boston Celtics

In addition to questioning the Boston Celtics' credibility and their journey to the NBA Finals, Embiid also expressed his dislike for the Green and White on the show:

"I can't stand them. I hate Boston," Embiid said. "Great city, great fans. Obviously, they got some great players, but it hurts me a lot. Hopefully, this offseason, we find a way to get better and add some pieces."

The Celtics are currently 3-1 up in the finals against the Dallas Mavericks and need just one more win to be crowned NBA champions for the 18th time. This would be the first championship for the franchise since 2008 when Paul Pierce spearheaded the Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Joel Embiid's dislike for the Celtics is perhaps understandable, the 76ers have not been at their greatest against Boston in recent years. They met each other in the 2018 Eastern Conference semi-finals and the Celtics ended the series pretty easily with a 4-1 win. Their next meeting was in the opening round of the 2020 playoffs where the Sixers got swept.

Boston will look to close out the series at TD Garden in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

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Edited by Veer Badani
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