Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled by New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the second half of game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks had the chance to put in the Philadelphia 76ers in a major hole Thursday and Joel Embiid almost helped them out.

In the first quarter of Game 3 of their NBA Playoff series, Embiid garnered a flagrant foul after grabbing Mitchell Robinson’s legs as the Knicks player went up for a layup. The referees decided that it was a flagrant 1 and the Philly big man was allowed to stay in the game. It was one of several questionable plays involving Embiid during the game, including two times when it appeared that he struck a Knicks player in the groin.

However, since he stayed in the game, Embiid ended up scoring 50 points, a career playoff-high, while leading the Sixers to a critical 125-114 win.

The Knicks still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 but a lot of New Yorkers think that Embiid got away with a lot of dirty plays in the victory.

One of those people is The Michael Kay Show co-host Peter Rosenberg, who thinks that Game 4 of the series needs to open with someone from the Knicks taking a shot at Embiid to set the tone for the rest of the day.

“The New York Knicks cannot be the New York Mets in Game 4,” said Rosenberg. “They need to make a physical statement in Game 4. You have those extra bodies on the bench that [head coach Tom Thibodeau] never plays? Someone needs a nice, good, intentional, accidental slap across Embiid’s face. Needs to happen in Game 4.

“I don’t care if he’s an MVP or not. I’m not saying you go for the guy’s knees and try to end his season, but guys, [if] you don’t get him with a hard Pistons foul, sorta similar to what happened to [Donte] DiVincenzo yesterday, you could argue he got completely punched in the face. So, someone needs to get racked across the face in the first five minutes on Sunday to show them that they’re not gonna roll over against this team.”

Just in case it wasn’t clear where Rosenberg stood on Embiid, he also shared some further sentiments on X.

We’ll see if anyone takes him up on that advice on Sunday when the Knicks and Sixers meet for pivotal Game 4.

Meanwhile, Embiid admitted after the game that he had been dealing with Bell’s palsy since the Play-In Tournament.

[ESPN New York/Peter Rosenberg]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to