The Sixers’ Joel Embiid serves as the NBA’s great, big enigma

When the Philadelphia 76ers decide to play – like, really decide to play – they are dangerous.

But it all relies on the approach of the guy in the graphic.

Which guy? The one who got booed during introductions last night?

Yep! That guy.

If that guy, Joel Embiid, dominates the game like his skill set allows him to, the Sixers have the potential to land in the NBA Finals.

If he doesn’t?

He, and others, could be on their way out of town.

Things all came to a head on Monday night, when Embiid took “being Embiid” a bit too far for Philly fans.

See where the booing came from?

Luckily for Embiid, negative energy only serves to fuel his flame.

Trolling your own home crowd = Expert Level Trolling.

Antagonism aside, Embiid played his butt off in one of the biggest games of the season: a nationally televised contest with one of the West’s NBA Finals favorites in the Los Angeles Clippers.

Have you seen a bunch of 7-footers who can defend from the perimeter to the paint like that?

Not In My House No GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Of course you haven’t.

But – there’s always a ‘but’ – Embiid isn’t that every night, a fact that frustrates fans and media alike.

Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the East and in the NBA. Their only losses are at the hands of Miami, Boston, Utah, Dallas, San Antonio, Denver and Philadelphia.

WAIT…Philadelphia?!

Joel Embiid Embid GIF by Philadelphia 76ers - Find & Share on GIPHY

We know. One regular season win over the Bucks doesn’t mean they can actually beat the Bucks in a seven-game series.

Plus, the Sixers are currently fifth in the East and staring at a first round matchup with the Miami Heat, a team that has defeated Philly three out of four times this season.

Jimmy Butler Laughing GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

But – another ‘but’ – the playoffs are a different animal. For example, the Bucks won the season series against the Toronto Raptors last season before Toronto went through Milwaukee before eventually winning the NBA title.

In addition, the Sixers still have a path to move up in the standings if they get hot. After losing four in a row, they have won their last three on the backs of Embiid and second superstar, Ben Simmons.

In fact, over the last three games, Embiid is averaging 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while Simmons is pitching in 22.3 points, 10.0 assists, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals.

The Sixers won’t take the floor again until after the All-Star Break, but Embiid and Simmons will share the floor for the All-Star game.

We’ll see if they’ll both be representing Philadelphia come this time next season.