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Charles Barkley Holds Joel Embiid Responsible For Philadelphia 76ers Struggles Against Miami In Game 5: "He Came Out With No Energy, Distracted, And The Team Followed."

Charles Barkley Holds Joel Embiid Responsible For Philadelphia 76ers Struggles Against Miami In Game 5: "He Came Out With No Energy, Distracted, And The Team Followed."

Charles Barkley is one of the most honest analysts in all of basketball. However, this often results in some ruthless honesty by the Hall of Famer and former MVP. There are plenty of takes over Barkley's 20+ year television career that shows that the man speaks without a filter. That is one of the reasons he is beloved by so many and is regarded as one of the most entertaining men on sports TV.

Barkley and 'Inside The NBA' co-host Shaquille O'Neal have often been very critical of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid because of his propensity to shoot and play passively. However, that feedback has changed over the last two seasons as Embiid has become one of the most dominant players in the league.

Embiid has failed to win consecutive MVPs to Nikola Jokic and, according to Barkley, that snub plagued his mind during the Miami Heat's 35-point win over Embiid's 76ers in Game 5 of the second round.

"I said at halftime that Joel was so distracted by all this MVP stuff. He came out with no energy, distracted, and the rest of the team followed."

"I am saying my opinion because he wasn't aggressive. I don't mind the guy having a bad game. He was shooting fadeaway jumpers, shooting threes, he wasn't aggressive. I am just trying to figure. He only shot the ball 12 times. He made some plays in the second half but the game was out of their hands. He was distracted and the other players are gonna follow him, just like they did in Philly for two games. I feel bad because he's a great kid, but sometimes, things happen that bother you." 

Embiid has been shying away from taking a lot of shots and banging in the post since he came back from injury. That is natural considering he is managing three injuries with a concussion, orbital bone injury, and a torn ligament in his thumb.

Embiid can't provide what he did in the regular season, he is genuinely banged up. The onus falls more on the others around him, but they aren't the caliber of Embiid. If he is on the court, he needs to perform, and that is the expectation Barkley has of him. That is also what the 76ers need if they hope to win the final two games of the series.