Joel Embiid and the 76ers cruised to a 130-114 victory over the Pacers on Monday night, and Philadelphia's center added some insult to injury postgame.
"He's a great player and I have a lot of respect for him," Embiid said in reference to Pacers center Myles Turner. "I say this respectfully, that's a matchup that I have dominated since I got to the league."
Embiid isn't necessarily wrong in his assessment. He tallied 24 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday, and he's now averaging 28.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game in 10 career matchups against Indiana's center. Turner has averaged just 8.2 points per game in those contests.
Turner is no slouch in the frontcourt. He's on pace to lead the NBA in blocks for the second time in three years, and he's a career 34.8 percent shooter from three. The Texas product gets the best of plenty of centers around the league. Embiid is a different story.
"[Turner] is a great defender, he leads the league in blocks, he should be up there for Defensive Player of the Year and that's also one of my goals," Embiid said postgame. "In those types of matchups, that's where you got to take advantage. Especially if I have my eyes set on being the Defensive Player of the Year."
In all fairness to Turner, few big men have been able to slow Embiid in 2020–21. Philadelphia's star center is averaging a career-high 30 points per game this season, shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three. If Embiid keeps playing like this through the summer, we could see Philadelphia advance to its first Finals since 2001.