NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid avoids ejection after pulling down Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson by his ankle

by Admin
NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid avoids ejection after pulling down Knicks' Mitchell Robinson by his ankle

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid earned a flagrant foul but escaped ejection Thursday night after pulling Mitchell Robinson down to the court by his ankle.

The incident happened in the first quarter of Thursday’s playoff Game 3 between the 76ers and New York Knicks. With New York leading, 18-15, Knicks forward OG Anunoby knocked Embiid to the floor while attacking the basket. He then passed the ball to Robinson, who was standing over Embiid under the basket.

As Robinson jumped for a dunk, Embiid grabbed his right ankle and pulled him to the court. Robinson lost control of the ball, and officials whistled Embiid for a foul.

Tempers flared, and Embiid and Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo got in each others’ faces and exchanged words. Players were separated, and officials then called for a replay review, the third of a fiery first quarter.

After review, officials ruled the contact unnecessary and upgraded the call to a flagrant 1. He avoided a flagrant 2, which would have resulted in his automatic ejection from the game.

Per the NBA, a flagrant is is defined as: “Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.”

A flagrant 2 is defined as: “unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.”

Embiid’s contact that dragged Robinson to the court from midair can certainly be construed as unnecessary and excessive,” but officials elected to eject Philadelphia’s All-NBA center.

Robinson avoided injury on the play and took the line for the flagrant free throws. A 40.9% free throw shooter, he missed both, and New York didn’t score on its ensuing possession.

The 76ers entered Game 2 Thursday desperate for a win at home after losing the first two games of the series in New York.

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