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Getty Joel Embiid #21, Philadelphia 76ers

In a January 20 ESPN article, Zach Lowe singled out Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid for his play this season, praising him for being one of the smartest players in the league by utilizing his physique.

“Embiid’s prodigious size and silky touch have always overshadowed that he is one of the league’s smartest players, with elite feel for the game.

Brains and brawn amplify each other. Embiid knows how imposing he is,” Lowe said.

Lowe then talked about how much better Embiid has gotten as a rim protector as the season has progressed.

“After a slow start on defense, Embiid has been sensational — a one-man forcefield. Opponent shots at the rim plummet when Embiid plays.”

Lowe then listed Embiid’s MVP candidacy among other reasons for why the Sixers should be viewed as a title contender.

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“Embiid is an MVP candidate. Harden is playing at an All-Star-level. The Sixers have all the markings of a contender,” Lowe said. “All that’s left is to stay healthy, and for their best players to show up in the biggest games. Sputter again, and the future is uncertain.”

The only team in the Eastern Conference with a better record than the Sixers is the Boston Celtics, who are four and a half games ahead of them.

Embiid Ranked Third Among MVP Candidates

In his latest MVP Ladder on January 20, Michael C. Wright ranked Embiid third among MVP candidates, behind only Nikola Jokic and Jayson Tatum.

“The steady rise continues. Embiid missed three straight games from Jan. 4-8, but returned with a vengeance, averaging 34.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 1.8 bpg in the six games since,” Wright said. “The Sixers have won four in a row on their current five-game West road trip and have won eight of their first 10 games in January to move into a second-place tie with the Bucks in the East. ‘I think we’re good, and I think we can be really, really good,’ Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. Much of that depends on Embiid’s continued production on both ends of the floor, as the big man and James Harden seem to be hitting their stride.”

Since writing this, the Sixers have surpassed the Bucks in the standings after defeating the Sacramento Kings on January 21. In the last two seasons, Embiid has finished second in MVP voting, with Jokic having beaten him in 2021 and 2022 for the award.

Embiid Responds to Hall-of-Famer’s Criticism

NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon criticized Embiid while talking with Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, saying that Embiid settles when he shoots threes.

“He’s got all the moves, but leveraging the moves is different. Why would he be shooting threes?” Olajuwon asked Ballard. “He has the advantage every night, and if I have the advantage, I’m going to wear you out.”

“But threes? ‘That’s settling! When I’m tired, I settle. You don’t settle when you’re trying to win. You don’t start the game settling!”

Embiid responded indirectly to Olajuwon while talking with reporters, talking about how the game is different now compared to Olajuwon’s era.

“It’s funny when you’ve got these old guys always talking about posting up, ‘you need to spend time in the paint,’ and all that stuff,” Embiid said, per Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. “You can’t win this way anymore. It’s not the fricking 90s or 80s like it used to be. So, they must not have any basketball IQ.”

Joel Embiid: “It’s funny when you’ve got these old guys always talking about posting up, 'you need to spend time in the paint,' and all that stuff. You can’t win this way anymore. It’s not the fricking 90s or 80s like it used to be. So, they must not have any basketball IQ.” pic.twitter.com/ykoElNlEDl

— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) January 20, 2023

News Source: Heavy.com

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Taylor Armstrong Shares Heartbreaking Memory of Daughter After Husbands Death

Getty Images Taylor Armstrong opened up about her ex's death -- and her daughter's reaction.

Taylor Armstrong is set to become the first “Real Housewives” star to cross franchises, as she joins the cast of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” years after she appeared full-time on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

The mom of one had faced the most challenging time of her life while filming with the Beverly Hills franchise. Aside from going through a divorce, her ex-husband Russell Armstrong died by suicide amid her time on the show, according to TMZ.

Warning: Potentially triggering content is contained in this article.

“I went to go meet him one day and his office was dark and he wasn’t there and he was a workaholic, so it was completely unusual for that to be the case. I just had this sinking feeling that something terrible had happened,” Taylor Armstrong said on an episode of the “Divorce Sucks” podcast in March 2019.

“It had never crossed my mind in the past. He was very narcissistic and not someone who you would ever think would take their life. But ultimately, I found him hanging in the house that he had moved into,” she added.

With Orange County filming underway, Taylor Armstrong has been doing press and has been talking about her past. This was the case during a sit-down with Melissa Pfeister on the “Side Piece” podcast during which the reality star opened up about something her daughter Kennedy said about Russell Armstrong after he died.

Here’s what you need to know:

Taylor Armstrong Revealed a Sad Memory She Has of Her Daughter

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A post shared by Taylor Armstrong (@taylorarmstrong)

On the January 4, 2023, episode of the “Side Piece” podcast, Taylor Armstrong recalled a memory she has of her daughter.

Taylor Armstrong said that her daughter really didn’t spend too much time with her dad, as he was always at work. She was just 5-years-old when her dad died. The former RHOBH star said that she took a doctor’s advice to talk to Kennedy about her dad because it was “important” for her to understand that people “don’t just disappear.”

“One day we were in the car on the way to school, not long after, and I said, ‘do you miss daddy?’ And she said, ‘no. N-O.’ And she was in her carseat and I said, ‘well I miss him sometimes,'” Taylor Armstrong continued. She tried to remind Kennedy about a trip they took as a family to Hawaii, but the youngster didn’t want any part of the conversation.

“And then she said, ‘mommy? Why would you miss a boy that screamed at you all the time?'” the “Real Housewives” star recalled. “Kids are so much more perceptive than we think,” she added.

Armstrong & Her Daughter Have New Lives

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Taylor Armstrong (@taylorarmstrong)

Taylor Armstrong left the world of reality television to give herself and her daughter time to process and heal from the tragedy. In the time since, Taylor and Kennedy Armstrong have moved from Beverly Hills to Orange County and Taylor Armstrong has worked hard to ensure that her daughter could have a fulfilling life complete with happiness, friendships, and love.

As for why Taylor Armstrong is coming back to reality television now, well, she wants people to see her on the other side of the tragedy.

“I returned to HW’s because I wanted the viewers to see that there is life after tragedy,” Taylor Armstrong said on her Instagram Stories in response to a fan who asked her why she decided to come back to the franchise all these years later.

“When I left #RHOBH, my life was in such a horrible place and I want others who are going through difficult times to know they have strength not only to make it through adversity but to use their strength to support others. My story felt unfinished,” she added.

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