Knicks Coach Talks Challenge of Joel Embiid

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has a tall task in planning to play Joel Embiid.
Jan 5, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) controls
Jan 5, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) controls / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Knicks are getting ready for the start of their playoff run on Saturday as the Philadelphia 76ers come to town.

The Sixers clinched a playoff spot after beating the Miami Heat in Wednesday night's Play-In Tournament game. The win proved that they will be a tough opponent for the Knicks for the first-round series.

"[Joel] Embiid, obviously, is a lot to deal with," coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. "But [Tyrese] Maxey, you have a number of guys. [Tobias] Harris. [Kyle] Lowry's played well for them. [Nic] Batum, obviously, has been around a long time, hit a lot of big shots. [Buddy] Hield, a great shooter, scorer. We know we got to be ready."

The Sixers are incredibly deep and a sneaky seventh seed. Philadelphia was 31-8 this season with Embiid in the lineup and 16-27 without him. They are also the hottest team in the NBA, having won their last eight regular-season games and last night's Play-In contest.

It's going to be a handful for the Knicks, but with their strong defense, they will have a chance to limit the 76ers in hopes of advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second year in a row.

Game 1 between the Knicks and Sixers is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

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Jeremy Brener


Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email