Now, this is a story all about how
Joel’s life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit and exhale
I’ll tell you how he became the Process and how it has failed
In West Philadelphia drafted and praised
At Wells Fargo is where he spent most of his days
Ballin’ out, plane wings, thinking he’s cool
Trollin’ all his rivals who called him a fool
When a couple of teams who were up to no good
Started making trouble in his neighborhood
He couldn’t score on Gasol and then got scared
Morey said, “I’ll bring in James Harden, then we’ll be repaired”
He excitedly read every pre-season post to be found
The headlines read, “Sixers are going to be Finals-bound”
Losses to Boston then ‘Waukee were simply deflating
Another L to the Spurs had Philly fans hating
Joel wondered if Philly would get any wins
A dub over Indy didn’t bring any grins
He looked at the Process, it was filled with despair
Joel sat and wondered why is life so unfair
Joel Embiid declined to speak to reporters after tonight’s game.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) October 21, 2022
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30pm ET
Toronto – Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Christian Koloko
Philadelphia – Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid
Toronto – Otto Porter Jr. (left hamstring strain – doubtful), Scottie Barnes (right ankle sprain – questionable), Justin Champagnie (G-League – assignment), Jeff Dowtin Jr. (G-League – two-way), Ron Harper Jr. (G-League – two-way)
Philadelphia – De’Anthony Melton (thigh - questionable)
Cameroon, stand up!
It should shock no one if Scottie Barnes is ruled out for tonight. Toronto’s medical staff typically uses extra caution when bringing players back from injury. Nick Nurse could also take advantage of the double dip with the Sixers and offer a new look by bringing back Barnes in the second game.
Above all that, Nurse and his staff are usually aware of the national significance of some of his lineups. Last season, he purposefully brought in Dalano Banton, Khem Birch, and Chris Boucher at the same time when the Pacers had Oshae Brissett and Chris Duarte on the floor.
Tonight will be a celebration for Cameroon! For the first time in NBA history, three players from Cameroon will start in the same game as Christian Koloko, Pascal Siakam, and Joel Embiid take the floor.
Is Doc Rivers on the hot seat?
Yes, the regular season is only a week old, but at what point do the famously rabid Sixers fans call for an end to Rivers’ coaching tenure? If you remove the December game last season where half the Toronto roster was out due to COVID, the Raptors have won the last 16 regular season matchups with the Sixers. If Toronto can extend that (albeit arbitrary) streak to 18, would a 1-5 record for a pre-season Finals contender be enough fuel to the fire?
The Harden of old
The additions of PJ Tucker and De’Anthony Melton in the off-season were originally viewed as wins for Philadelphia. But those moves — specifically the signing of Tucker — probably don’t happen if not for the $15 million pay cut James Harden took in re-working his contract.
Harden’s monetary sacrifice seems to be bringing back karmic value on the court. With averages of 26.8 points, 9.8 assists, and 8.5 rebounds, Harden is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 25-8-8. Harden’s played so well that he’s surpassed Embiid (albeit only 4 games into the season) as the more valuable player, ranking 2nd in the NBA in Win Shares and VORP.